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The principles I learned in 7 years here
I've learned a lot by surfing these subs. I internalized it and am really happy with where I am. I wanted to take a minute to pay it forward and distill what I've internalized into first principles. First, a bit on my background. I was always interested in being FI and know that money doesn't equal freedom, but it is an aspect of freedom (if nothing else, freedom from worrying about meeting basic needs). I was saving heavily in my mid 20's but was also working for a nonprofit. I was saving 50% of my income but it honestly wasn't amounting to all that much. I wound up spending about a year teaching myself data science before and after work. I was really motivated by the field and, luckily for me, it turns out to be quite lucrative. I also started skydiving. That meant moving to a shared 1 bedroom apartment with somebody I butted heads with so I could afford it and not overly sacrifice savings goals. That was a tough call because skydiving is expensive, but it also made me much more risk tolerant and a generally happier and less reactive human. Skydiving taught me that most of my fears were unfounded (evolution predisposes you to fear more than you have to) so I geared up for a big life change. When I was good enough at data science, I quit my job in the nonprofit and moved to San Francisco to do a 3 month bootcamp program. Everybody thought I was nuts. That drained my savings virtually down to the last dime (with no debt though). I got my first job in the industry making very little money in a role where I would learn a lot. I loved it and got a promotion in (I shit you not) 2 weeks of being on the job. That was my first 6 figure income. Zoom forward four years and I'm at a major company with a significant equity stake, financially comfortable, and having just bought a home. Not quite yet FIRE but getting close depending on how my company stock does. Obviously everybody's path is different. But principles are more universal. With all that, here are the main principles that lead to my success:
Find the global maximum. I was top of my game in that nonprofit with a relatively good income and title, but I was growing unhappy and knew I wouldn't make my longterm goals. It was a tough call to quit, drain my savings, and move. But I did it and now I feel like I'm in a global personal maximum for life satisfaction, earning, etc. This means longterm thinking
Stay balanced. I almost burned myself out on FIRE multiple times. I started seeing everything as costs. Be scrappy on everything but what makes you most come alive. That's crucial for longterm motivation
The best investments are always in yourself. Active recovery, eduction, socializing, etc. are the best investments you can make. They're bad investments on the short term but great on the longterm
Save on housing until you're ready to purchase a home. My rule was that I'd live with roommates until I had enough for a down payment. When covid happened, I decided I wouldn't buy a place until the market rebounded so I let my investments sit until they rebounded, sold, and purchased a home. Most people lose too much money on housing
Never pay interest. This is an exaggeration but it's the biggest lifetime expense for more people. I pay some interest but both my small car loan and mortgage are below 3% interest. That means, with inflation, my money is likely better in the stock market than paying back those loans. So apart from that interest, I've been lucky enough to manage to avoid it like the plague
Take risks and experiment. Most people are way too risk adverse, scared to place strategic bets. I've lost a lot of money on risky things but have gained so much more in experience. Spending thousands on bitcoin miners in the early days while on a shoestring budget? Lost a lot on that. But it resulted in learning an appropriate way to buy crypto and the net effect was many more thousands of dollars in gains
Have mentors/models. If you don't do this explicitly, you default to modeling your behavior on whoever is around you. Think of who your top models for behavior are (financial, relationship, etc) and figure out what makes them tick. For me it was Mr. Money Moustache, some abundance-oriented technology thought leaders, and some anti-consumer friends who were militant about how owning things doesn't make you happy
Don't defer pleasure. I came to realize that many of my thoughts on retirement were quite Catholic (thanks, dad). In other words, I was deferring pleasure until retirement like my Catholic father was deferring pleasure until the afterlife. Be fiercely present and enjoy today. Finances are only one part of life satisfaction
Have an abundance and growth mindset. Most people think of money as a scarce resource. It's not. Anybody can generate it given enough time and effort. Think big picture and work incrementally towards it rather than accepting the career progression of your peers or employer. Most people underestimate how much employers will recognize a strong sense of drive and personal responsibility
Change is necessary. For the Buddhists, that's the source of all suffering. Do we want to sacrifice the mediocre reality today for the option of a better reality tomorrow? Most people are so change and uncertainty adverse they can't adapt to more beneficial situations. Being open and curious and optimistic about change is necessary, otherwise the mediocre today seems like a better bet or you'll change and then quickly regress. The opportunity cost for change is whatever situation you currently find yourself in. Make sure you're ok with this and have the confidence to course correct if you get in over your head
TL;DR - Reality is malleable. You can achieve whatever you want as long as you take a step back, strategize, and then kick some ass. If you adopt some principles and play the long game, you'll ace this whole life thing Edit: Glad this got so much attention. I feel like I've paid forward the mindset and benefits this sub helped me create. Thanks for being part of that!
[Crosspost]I am Ryan Quinn, candidate for Iowa House District 57 AMA!
EDIT: AMA HAS CONCLUDED. Click HERE to read Ryan Quinns answers on everything from Bitcoins to Term limits to Labor laws and more. VoteDEM hosts a down-ballot Democratic candidate for an AMA every wednesday. I am Ryan Quinn and I am a Democrat running for The Iowa Legislature in House District 57. I am a software engineer by trade but have always been passionate about politics and have volunteered on campaigns often since first going door to door with my parents canvassing in 1984. I have been a supporter of open source software throughout my career having created the SymphonyOS Linux distribution in 2004. I've worked both for local companies in web development and for global companies having first joined DigitalOcean as one of the first twenty employees and helped in it's growth to nearly 700 people when I left and now working in Developer Relations at MongoDB as a remote employee helping to build community and promote education in tech. In 2018 I spent most weekends leading up to the election driving the Democratic candidate for this seat as she canvassed across Dubuque County. This year I was concerned as the primary season went by without a Democratic candidate stepping up and in August I reached out to friends with the county party to learn how I could help us win back this seat. I was told that the party had not been able to find a candidate despite this district having more registered Democrats than Republicans and it having been a Democratic district prior to the current incumbent's two terms. Most candidates for public office spend months making a decision and putting things in motion but I was told that the special nomination convention would be in just two days. Having the passion and ability to seek this office and knowing the alternative would be an uncontested seat I felt compelled to step up. I spoke with my wife and kids and before the end of the week I was the nominee for Iowa House District 57. Since kicking off my campaign in mid August I have found a great group of volunteers, found support from my friends and co-workers and benefited from the assistance of other local Democratic legislators and the county party. Starting from zero we now have over 200 yard signs out around the county, delivered a direct mail piece to all 3550 Democratic and No Party households voting absentee and placed door hangers at another 2000 homes. Without direct support from the state party or large PACs we created radio and video ads in-house which are now running on five local radio stations and on YouTube and Facebook. While this race is an uphill battle it is winnable! District 57 includes most of Dubuque County outside the city and consists of rural areas, small towns and suburbs. With factories, farms and tourist attractions the district is a microcosm of Iowa. Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by a couple hundred with a large contingent of No Party voters. The key issues that are important to me are:
Fully funding our public schools and returning Iowa schools to being the best in the nation.
Fighting for working families by supporting a fair minimum wage and making sure that agencies tasked with ensuring safe workplaces are properly funded.
Ensuring affordable and accessible healthcare including mental health services and reversing the GOPs disastrous experiment in the privatization of our Medicaid program.
Restoring the collective bargaining rights of our teachers and all state employees.
Should the federal government institute a mandatory buyback of assault weapons? No
Should a business be able to deny service to a customer if the request conflicts with the owner’s religious beliefs? If they are not engaged in interstate commerce, the Federal Government shouldn't hold any power to legislate on the matter. At the state level (and federal if interstate) Yes, so long as they are not discriminating on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, or other uncontrollable factors.
Should the government continue to fund Planned Parenthood? Yes, with oversight to make sure the money is going o where it is supposed to.
Should universities provide “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” for students? No
Do you support the death penalty? Generally no, with the possible exception of treason during an insurrection or invasion.
Should the government support a separation of church and state by removing references to God on money, federal buildings, and national monuments? No, this is referring to God as a concept.
Should businesses be required to have women on their board of directors? No
Do you support the legalization of same sex marriage? Yes, through a constitutional amendment. At the state level, yes.
Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles? Yes as long as they meet the same physical standards as men and pass the same tests.
Should marital rape be classified and punished as severely as non-marital rape? This should be a state-level issue, but yes.
Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide? Only if there is no chance of survival.
Should hate speech be protected by the first amendment? It is, and yes.
Should gay couples have the same adoption rights as straight couples? Yes
Should states be allowed to display the Confederate flag on government property? They have the right, but I would prefer my state not.
Should women be allowed to wear a Niqāb, or face veil, to civic ceremonies? I am not fully certain. I am leaning towards yes, as long as another woman has verified her identity.
Should welfare recipients be tested for drugs? Only if they have a criminal history related to drug abuse.
Should employers be required to pay men and women the same salary for the same job? This shouldn't be a federal issue unless it involves interstate commerce. But at the state-level (and federal if interstate), Yes if they work the same positions and for the same hours and conditions.
Should there be fewer or more restrictions on current welfare benefits? More, reform it so it supplements, rather than replaces, an income.
Should the government raise the federal minimum wage? The federal government should not have the power to enact minimum wage laws unless it involves interstate commerce, in which case yes, it should be $15 an hour. Each state should be able to set its own laws on the matter.
Should the government make cuts to public spending in order to reduce the national debt? No.
Should the U.S. increase tariffs on imported products from China? Yes, China should be punished for violations of international law.
Should businesses be required to provide paid leave for full-time employees during the birth of a child or sick family member? At the state-level, yes. At the federal level, yes, if they are involved in interstate commerce.
Should the government increase the tax rate on profits earned from the sale of stocks, bonds, and real estate? Capital gains should be taxed the same as ordinary income.
Should the current estate tax rate be decreased? No, I am satisfied with the current system.
Should the U.S. continue to participate in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? No.
Should the President offer tax breaks to individual companies to keep jobs in the U.S.? No, but put tariffs on all imported goods.
Should the government prevent “mega mergers” of corporations that could potentially control a large percentage of market share within its industry? No.
Do you believe labor unions help or hurt the economy? Help, in theory, but are sometimes harmful.
Should the government break up Amazon, Facebook and Google? No.
Should the government add or increase tariffs on products imported into the country? Yes, all imported goods should be taxed 20%.
Should the U.S. raise or lower the tax rate for corporations? Keep at current rate, but close all loopholes.
Should the government require businesses to pay salaried employees, making up to $46k/year, time-and-a-half for overtime hours? At the state level, yes. At the federal level, only if they are involved in interstate commerce.
Do you support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? No.
Would you favor an increased sales tax in order to reduce property taxes? No.
Should pension plans for federal, state, and local government workers be transitioned into privately managed accounts? No.
Should the government subsidize farmers? For now, yes, but once we get out of trade deals, put tariffs on all imports, and tax all interstate sales, subsidies should be ended.
Should the government use economic stimulus to aid the country during times of recession? No, recessions are natural cycles.
Should the Federal Reserve Bank be audited by Congress? Yes, we should know where that money is going.
Should the IRS create a free electronic tax filing system? Yes.
Should an in-state sales tax apply to online purchases of in-state buyers from out-of-state sellers? No, the federal government should not enact an intrastate sales tax.
Should pension payments be increased for retired government workers? Yes, adjust them yearly for inflation.
Should U.S. citizens be allowed to save or invest their money in offshore bank accounts? Yes, as long as all income is reported.
Should the government classify Bitcoin as a legal currency? Yes, but maintain the system of the dollar and cash as a legal currency.
Should the government acquire equity stakes in companies it bails out during a recession? No.
Do you support charter schools? No.
Should the government decriminalize school truancy? No for Elementary school. For middle and high school, no social studies and English, yes for everything else.
Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun? States and the federal government should not be allowed to enact any restrictions on black powder weapons or ammunition for them. For cartridge firearms, the federal government should only have the power to regulate interstate sale of them. At the state level, cartridge firearms should require a license to obtain. The process should involve passing a mental and physical health exam, having a decent criminal record, and passing a written and shooting exam. Handguns and centerfire semi-automatic weapons should have higher standards for licensing and should be registered before being obtained, but automatic CCW to anyone who has a license for a handgun. fully automatic weapons should be illegal to sell, except to collectors, who must meet an even higher standard to obtain.
Should victims of gun violence be allowed to sue firearms dealers and manufacturers? No, this is just dumb.
Should the President of the United States have the power to deploy military troops in order to stop protests? If any state governments are overthrown, yes. Otherwise, only if the Governor of a state requests assistance.
Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school? Yes if they have a valid license 9see above).
Should it be illegal to burn the American flag? No, but I have no respect for anyone who does.
Should the state government order schools to provide online only classes in order to combat coronavirus? No, let each school decide.
Should there be term limits set for members of Congress? Yes, maximum four terms for the House, and maximum two for the Senate.
Should people on the “no-fly list” be banned from purchasing guns and ammunition? No, this denies one of due process rights.
Are you in favor of decriminalizing drug use? Yes, for most but not all drugs (basically the really bad ones, e.g., meth, heroin, etc;)
Should the NSA (National Security Agency) be allowed to collect basic metadata of citizen’s phone calls such as numbers, timestamps, and call durations? Only with a warrant and probable cause of a crime.
Should the Supreme Court be reformed to include more seats and term limits on judges? No, this is just trying to pack the court, which should not be politicized.
Should the government regulate social media sites, as a means to prevent fake news and misinformation? No, this violates free speech.
Do you support the Patriot Act? Not the clause that allows warrantless searches.
Should the government be allowed to seize private property, with reasonable compensation, for public or civic use? Only for public land and not for privatization, and the owner must be paid for losses in full.
Should college sports be played in the fall of 2020? Yes, but let teams decide.
Should local police increase surveillance and patrol of Muslim neighborhoods? No, this just breeds resentment.
Should the government raise the retirement age for Social Security? No
Should the government pass laws which protect whistleblowers? Yes, so long as national security isn't compromised.
Should the redrawing of Congressional districts be controlled by an independent, non-partisan commission? Yes, gerrymandering breeds corruption.
Should internet service providers be allowed to speed up access to popular websites (that pay higher rates) at the expense of slowing down access to less popular websites (that pay lower rates)? If they are privately owned, yes.
Should the U.S. government grant immunity to Edward Snowden? For his leaks on domestic surveillance, yes. Some other things, maybe not.
Should foreign terrorism suspects be given constitutional rights? Yes.
Do you support the killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani? Yes.
Should the U.S. continue to support Israel? Yes.
Should the U.S. accept refugees from Syria? Yes, but only after extensive background checks to confirm that they are not a threat and are genuine refugees and not economic migrants.
Should the government increase or decrease military spending? Decrease by streamlining it, and making it more efficient, through eliminating wasteful spending.
Should the military fly drones over foreign countries to gain intelligence and kill suspected terrorists? No, unless said country has approved it, and American citizens should be given fair trials.
Should the military be allowed to use enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to gain information from suspected terrorists? No.
Should every 18 year old citizen be required to provide at least one year of military service? No, but maintain the Selective Service system and allow states to draft people if necessary.
Should Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel? Yes.
Should the U.S. go to war with Iran? No, they should be disarmed through diplomatic channels.
Should the U.S. remain in the United Nations? Yes.
Should the U.S. remain in NATO? Yes.
Should the U.S. defend other NATO countries that maintain low military defense budgets relative to their GDP? Yes, but get them to pay their share.
Should the United States pull all military troops out of Afghanistan? If the Afghan government wants us to, then yes.
Should the U.S. sell military weapons to India in order to counter Chinese and Russian influence? Yes.
Should the U.S. conduct military strikes against North Korea in order to destroy their long-range missile and nuclear weapons capabilities? No, use all diplomatic means first.
Do you support President Obama’s move to lift the trade and travel embargo on Cuba? Yes.
Should it be illegal to join a boycott of Israel? No.
Should the government cancel production of the F-35 fighter? Yes, until the price has been lowered or our deficits have been drastically reduced, and its hardware is drastically improved.
Do you support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? No.
Should people be required to work in order to receive Medicaid? No.
Should cities open drug “safe havens” where people who are addicted to illegal drugs can use them under the supervision of medical professionals? Yes.
Do you support the legalization of Marijuana? The federal government should not have the power to ban marijuana, except to regulate or ban its interstate sale, which it shouldn't at the state level, legalize.
Should the government regulate the prices of life-saving drugs? No.
Should health insurers be allowed to deny coverage to individuals who have a pre-existing condition? At the federal level, no, if they are operating in interstate commerce. At the state level, no.
Should there be more or less privatization of veterans’ healthcare? Less, improve the current system.
Should the federal government increase funding of health care for low income individuals (Medicaid)? Yes.
Should the federal government be allowed to negotiate drug prices for Medicare? Yes.
Should the government fund the World Health Organization? Yes.
Should the government increase environmental regulations to prevent climate change? No.
Should researchers be allowed to use animals in testing the safety of drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and cosmetics? Yes, but not for cosmetics.
Should the U.S. expand offshore oil drilling? No, but maintain current rigs.
Do you support the use of hydraulic fracking to extract oil and natural gas resources? Allow it to be legal, but don't subsidize.
Should the government stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline? No.
Should disposable products (such as plastic cups, plates, and cutlery) that contain less than 50% of biodegradable material be banned? No.
Should drilling be allowed in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge? No.
Should cities be allowed to offer private companies economic incentives to relocate? Yes.
Should the government give tax credits and subsidies to the wind power industry? No, no industry should be favored.
Should the government require children to be vaccinated for preventable diseases? No.
Do you support the use of nuclear energy? Yes, lessen restrictions, but no subsidies.
Should producers be required to label genetically engineered foods (GMOs)? Yes.
Should illegal immigrants have access to government-subsidized healthcare? No.
Should immigrants be deported if they commit a serious crime? Yes, after serving their sentence.
Should illegal immigrants be offered in-state tuition rates at public colleges within their residing state? No.
Should the U.S. build a wall along the southern border? No, but make a high tech surveillance barrier instead of a physical wall. This is because a physical wall would be too costly and ineffective.
Should local law enforcement be allowed to detain illegal immigrants for minor crimes and transfer them to federal immigration authorities? Yes.
Should sanctuary cities receive federal funding? No.
Should the U.S. increase restrictions on its current border security policy? Yes.
Should immigrants be required to pass a citizenship test to demonstrate a basic understanding of our country’s language, history, and government? Yes.
Should children of illegal immigrants be granted legal citizenship? Yes, if they were born here.
Should Muslim immigrants be banned from entering the country until the government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists? No.
Should immigrants be required to learn English? Yes, if they wish to become citizens.
Should there be a temporary ban on all immigration into the United States? No, but increase border security.
Should the US increase or decrease the amount of temporary work visas given to high-skilled immigrant workers? Increase, our economy relies on businesses hiring the highest skilled workers at the lowest cost.
Should working illegal immigrants be given temporary amnesty? No.
Should immigrants to the United States be allowed to hold dual citizenship status? Yes.
Do you support Common Core national standards? Yes, but only for English and social studies.
Should a photo ID be required to vote? No, but gradually update voter rolls and purge voters who are required to be according tot eh Voting Registration act of 1993.
Should foreigners, currently residing in the United States, have the right to vote? No, only citizens should.
Should the minimum voting age be lowered? No.
Should the electoral college be abolished? No.
Should the US have a mail-in ballot process for whole states in local, state, and federal elections? No.
Should foreign lobbyists be allowed to raise money for American elections? No.
Should there be a limit to the amount of money a candidate can receive from a donor? No.
Should corporations, unions, and non-profit organizations be allowed to donate to political parties? No.
Should there be a 5-year ban on White House and Congressional officials from becoming lobbyists after they leave the government? No.
Should political candidates be required to release their recent tax returns to the public? No.
Should funding for local police departments be redirected to social and community based programs? No, increase funding and training for police departments in higher crime rate communities
Should police officers be required to wear body cameras? Yes.
Should convicted criminals have the right to vote? Yes, but only after completing their sentence and probation.
Should drug traffickers receive the death penalty? No.
Should non-violent prisoners be released from jail in order to reduce overcrowding? Yes, but have them do community service.
Do you support mandatory minimum prison sentences for people charged with drug possession? No.
Should the government hire private companies to run prisons? No.
Should prisons ban the use of solitary confinement for juveniles? No, but it is currently being overused
Should the US assassinate suspected terrorists in foreign countries? No, capture, interrogate, and imprison them instead
What is your position on Abortion? Adopt a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v Wade and allow state to enact their own laws. At the state level, abortion should be legal within the first 20 weeks, but afterwards, should be banned except for exceptional cases.
If you're on reddit you're probably a millennial or gen z and you're likely gen 1 or gen 2. Most hmong parents arnt the most financially savvy people out there so I thought I'd post this in hopes that it helps some of yall out. The current situation should be reality check that highlights 1 thing for our generation: Have enough cash and investments to support yourself If you're a millennial this is probably the 2nd major recession in your working career, all within the span of less than 15 years. If you're just entering the job market then prepare for losses, wage cuts, uncertainty and wage stagnation for perhaps years to come. Recovery will happen, but unlike the stock market the economy usually lags.
Save enough cash to support yourself - 3 months minimum
Savings: At a minimum you should have enough cash to cover 3 months of costs in case of job loss. However, this is really the minimum you should strive for before thinking about investments. I'm personally more comfortable with 5-6 months of expenses and even more if you own a house.
401k, HSA There are probably more plans out there but these are the two most common. You should be maximizing your contributions up to whatever the company match is. If you're young and healthy, you may want to think about actively managing both and changing the funds to support higher growth.
401k: Contribute up to the company match. 401k is funded by pretax money and the company match is all free money. If you dont think you can or have the time to beat the match, then leverage 401ks to the maximum. Don't have enough to contribute? Each raise you earn increase your 401k contribution to whatever your raise is. Should you contribute the yearly maximum? It depends on the match and if it's worthwhile. 401ks are a money jail so it's not worth-while to simply invest more if it does not earn you additional match money. There are better ways to invest your money. Which fund should you choose? Again if you're on the younger side, you should probably be in 90% or more in stocks. HSA: If you're young and/or healthy then you will want to maximize you're HSA contributions. This money is yours forever and often comes with a company match. After meeting the minimum account balance you can invest any additional contributions, just like your 401k. You'll always have both accounts and the government has made it clear that they will waive penalties for withdrawals in cases of crisis like covid.
Roth IRA and Brokage accounts
Fully vested in 401k and HSA? Roth IRA and brokage accounts may be what you're looking for. Both Roth IRA and brokage accounts allows you to invest in individual stocks. What's the difference? Roth IRA gains are tax free but you arnt allowed to withdraw gains without paying a penalty and taxes until you reach retirement age. You can still pull out what you contribute at any time. A brokage account allows you to pull your gains and contributions out at any time, but any gain on any sale is subject to tax, regardless if you withdraw from your account or not. The general advice is if you're investing for retirement, go with a roth ira and contribute the maximum you can each year, then fund your brokage account with any extra. If you're investing to gamble or to try and earn extra cash, a brokage account gives you more flexibility on managing your earnings. I use my Roth IRA as a second savings accounts and invest when I see good entry points. Roth gives me liquidity while also being able to invest, compared to a 401k. The market will only grow, maybe not in the short term with the whole covid recession, but better believe it will in the long term.
FIRE: Financial Independence, Retire Early.
You may have heard of FIRE, but the essence is to become Financially independent and retire early. I'm not a big fan of the following it exactly but I am a fan of being Financially independent enough to not worry about what I choose for work. But if you live FIRE, more power to you. The single biggest costs for most people are their homes. If you can pay off your home early then a large financial burden has been taken care and while you may not be financial independent you will have an extremely large amount of flexibility. If you want to work at Costco, you can! That's what being financially flexible affords you.
Real estate and Land
Yes, some people make bank flipping and renting. But profiting from a flip is estimated to be harder and harder with home prices where they are today. I dont have any expertise here beside just beginning to dive into the indusrty but from what I hear from my builder, realtor and flipping people is that we are expecting a down turn in home prices in the 2nd half of the year if covid continues to decimate the economy. Low interest rates however may offset some of this in the short term. Right now it's still a sellers market but high end houses are sitting.
Points, points, points..seriously there's no other way to buy than with a credit card, not even mentioning security benefits. Cash, debit cards, PayPal, bitcoin, all worthless when compared to credit cards. Use credit cards to pay for everything you can. If you're not disciplined enough, don't open cards to every department store either, you're get a credit hit if your credit is accessed too often and it becomes difficult to manage after too many cards. Look at cards that provide the most points for your dollar. Cards that allow you to transfer points to partners often yield even more savings, especiallyon things like travel. Chase cards are great and Freedom is a great first card to have. The key to credit cards is not to spend what you dont have and to pay off the STATEMENT BALANCE every month. To avoid interests, you need only pay off the STATEMENT BALANCE and not the full balance every month. Never take credit card loans or get into credit card debt, it's going to be a bad time.
Pay off debt
There's always a fine line between investing and paying off debt. The debt we're talking about here is debt with relatively low interest rates like student loans, car loans and homes. Anything debt with high rates, like credit card debt, should be paid off immediately. The general rule of thumb is if you can make more investing than the interest rates of the loans, invest, else pay off debt. But, investing involves risk while paying off debt is a sure thing. There's also the emotional factor. Some people don't care about debt because they want to be working their entire lives and are willing to pay it off over the long term, and that's perfectly fine. In that case, invest invest invest. Personally i think there is a balance, I rather be debt free and financially flexible than be straddled with debt. To pay off debt, one of the most popular methods is the snow ball method. The essence of the theory is to pay off the highest interest debt off first. Once paid off, while keeping the payments the same, tackle the next highest interest debt and so on so forth. Eventually you are paying off more and more with the same payments, hence the snow ball effect. Google it for more precise definitions.
Travel, hobbies and enjoying life
Seriously, enjoy your youth, health and life while it's good. Nobody wants to work and save until 65 before you start traveling and enjoying life. Traveling is one of the best things you can do. Having hobbies makes work worthwhile. Good health is worth more than all the cash in the world.
Gambling and options
I dont recommend either, but if you're a gambling man, play options over penny stocks and always double down on 9 or 11...maybe. Just don't bet what you're not willing to lose, and for the love of all that is holy, dont gamble on margin. Disable that shit. You already know all this stuff? Awesome! Help out and contribute. Questions? Post. Wrong Facts? Always looking to learn. Tldr: Save, invest and pay off debt. Also enjoy life, health and youth while you have them.
Long story short, i am trying to make a purchase on a website that does not accept credit cards from commonwealth countries (canada, NZ, australia, etc.) SO, i decided it was time to make a bitcoin wallet, which i have been meaning to do for at least a year, but never had the immediate need to. So, i download a wallet client (Electrum), set up an account, go to purchase some bitcoin to get started, and make my purchase. I upload my personal information, along with my FUCKING PASSPORT, which i dont mind, but what i do mind is the next step after giving them my passport: "Camera settings disabled. Enable your camera" Well, i dont own a fucking camera. I have no cellphone. I had to contact a relative to go over to their house, with my passport, just so they could take a photograph of it and email it to me. Now. I guess i need a webcam, or a goddamn iphone, because they now have ALL my personal information and i still cant make an account. I cant afford a fucking phone, let alone the extortionist bills from cell service companies. What the fuck am i supposed to do, Reddit? I am stuck 2/3 of the way through adding my (laughably meager, im poorer than faggot dirt) funds to my newly created wallet. But, i cant just back out because they have ALL of my personal info (my passport etc.). Any way i can get funds in to my account without saving up for months for a webcam/cellphone? I am so fucking frustrated right now its unbearable. P.S. Sorry for swearing. Please help me ASAP.
I've heard that founder of MakerDAO is not strictly against KYC. I have a message to whole community and specifically to a founder of MakerDAO Rune Christensen. I will explain using concrete examples why having KYC in MakerDAO is a grave mistake and it will lead to MakerDAO fork. Many people in the first world never actually understand why financial privacy and financial inclusion is important. Even people (in the first world) who seemingly supportive of such ideas are not able to provide any concrete examples of why it's actually important. Unfortunately, I was born in a "wrong" country (Uzbekistan) and I experienced first hand what financial exclusion actually means. I know first hand that annoying feeling when you read polite, boilerplate rejection letter from financial institution based in first world. So I had to become practical libertarian. I'm going to give you concrete examples of financial discrimination against me. Then I'm going to explain fundamental reasons why it happens. And finally, I'm going to explain my vision for DAI. Back in 2005, I lived in Uzbekistan. I had an idea to invest in US stocks. I was very naive and I didn't know anything about investing, compliance, bank transfers, KYC etc. All I knew is nice long term charts of US stocks and what P/E means. I didn't contact any US brokerage but I checked information about account opening and how to transfer money there. I approached local bank in Uzbekistan and asked how to transfer money to Bank of New York. Banker's face was like - WOW, WTF?!?! They asked me to go to private room to talk with senior manager. Senior manager of local bank in Uzbekistan asked me why I wanted to transfer money to US. They told me that it's absolutely impossible to transfer money to US/EU and pretty much anywhere. I approached nearly every local bank in the town and they told me the same. In 2012, I already lived in Moscow and acquired Russian citizenship. I got back to my old idea - investing in US stocks. I called to many US brokerages and all of them politely rejected me. Usually when I called I asked them if I can open an account with them. They told me to hold on line. After long pause, I was able to speak with "senior" support who politely explain me that Russia in their list of restricted countries and they can't open an account for me. Finally, I was able to open an account with OptionsXpress. Next challenge was to convince local Russian bank to transfer money to US. Back then in 2012, I was able to get permission to do so. So you might say - is this happy end? Fast forwarding US brokerage story to 2017, OptionsXpress was acquired by Charles Schwab. I was notified that my OptionsXpress account will be migrated to Charles Schwab platform. In 2017, I already lived in the Netherlands (but still having Russian citizenship). I wasn't happy with my stupid job in the Netherlands. I called Charles Schwab and asked if I quit my job in the Netherlands and have to return to Russia, what will happen with my account. Schwab told me that they will restrict my account, so I can't do anything except closing my account. So even if I was long term customer of OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab is not fully okay with me. Going back to 2013, I still lived in Russia. I had another idea. What if I quit my job and build some SAAS platform (or whatever) and sell my stuff to US customers. So I need some website which accept US credit cards. I contacted my Russian bank (who previously allowed me to transfer money to OptionsXpress) about steps to make in order to accept US credit cards in Russia. I've been told explicitly in email that they won't allow me to accept US credit cards under any circumstances. Back then I still believed in "the free west". So I thought - no problem, I will just open bank account abroad and do all operations from my foreign account. I planned vacation in Hong Kong. And Hong Kong is freest economy in the world. Looks like it's right place to open bank account. I contacted HSBC Hong Kong via email. Their general support assured me that I can open bank account with them if I'm foreigner. I flew to Hong Kong for vacation and visited HSBC branch. Of course, they rejected me. But they recommended me to visit last floor in their HQ building, they told me that another HSBC branch specializes on opening bank accounts for foreigners. I went there and they said minimum amount to open bank account is 10 mil HKD (1.27 mil USD). Later I learned that it's called private banking. When I relocated to the Netherlands, I asked ABN Amro staff - what's happen with my bank account if I quit/lose my job in the Netherlands and have to return back to Russia. I've been told that I can't have my dutch bank account if I go back to Russia even if I already used their bank for 2+ years. I still had idea that I would like to quit my job and do something for myself. The problem is that I'm Russian citizen and I don't have any residency which is independent from my employment. So if I quit my job in the Netherlands, I have to return back to Russia. I wanted to see how I would get payments from US/EU customers. I found Stripe Atlas, it's so exciting, they help you to incorporate in US, and even help with banking, all process of receiving credit card payments is very smooth. But as usual in my case, there is a catch - Russia in their list of restricted countries. Speaking of centralized compliance-friendly (e.g. KYC) crypto exchanges. This year I live and work in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, I thought it would be nice to have an account at local crypto exchange in Hong Kong so I can quickly transfer money from my bank account in Hong Kong to crypto exchange using FPS (local payment system for fast bank transfers). What could go wrong? After all Hong Kong is freest economy in the world, right? I submitted KYC documents to crypto exchange called Weever including copy of my Hong Kong ID as they requested. They very quickly responded that they need copy of my passport as well. I submitted copy of my Russian passport. This time they got silent. After a few days, they sent me email saying that Russia is on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list, so they just require me to fill a form about source of the funds. I told them that the source of my funds is salary, my Hong Kong bank can confirm that along with my employment contract. They got very silent after I sent them a filled form. After a week of silence I asked them - when my account get approved? They said that their compliance office will review my application soon. And they got very silent again. I waited for two or three weeks. Then I asked them again. And I immediately got email with title - Rejection for Weever Account Opening. And text of email was:
We are sorry to inform you that Weever may not be able to accept your account opening application at this stage.
Exactly the same situation I had with one crypto exchange in Europe back in 2017. Luckily I have accounts at other crypto exchanges including Gemini, one of most compliance obsessed exchange in the world. Although I don't keep my money there because I can't trust them, who knows what might come into head of their compliance officer one sunny day. By the way, I'm living and working outside of Russia for quite a few years. The situation with crypto exchanges is much worse for those who still living in Russia. I give you a few other examples of financial discrimination is not related to troubles with my Russian citizenship. Back in 2018, I still lived in the Netherlands. I logged in into my brokerage account just to buy US ETFs as I always do - SPY and QQQ. I placed my order and it failed to fill. I thought it's just a technical problem with my brokerage account. After a few failed attempts to send buy orders for SPY and QQQ, I contacted their support. What they told me was shocking and completely unexpected. They said I'm not permitted to buy US ETFs anymore as EU resident because EU passed a law to protect retail investors. So as a EU resident I'm allowed to be exposed to more risk by buying individual US stocks but I'm not allowed to reduce my risk by buying SPY because ... EU wants to protect me. I felt final result of new law. By the way, on paper their law looks fine. And the final example. It's a known fact that US public market become less attractive in recent decades. Due to heavy regulatory burden companies prefer to go public very late. So if successful unicorn startup grows from its inception/genesis to late adoption, company's valuation would be 3-5 orders of orders of magnitude. For example, if valuation of successful company at inception is 1 Mil USD, then at its very latest stage it's valuation would be 10 Bil USD. So we have 10'000 times of growth. In the best case scenario, company would go public at 1 Bil USD 5-10 years before reaching its peak 10 Bil USD. So investors in private equity could enjoy 1000 fold growth and just leave for public only last 10 fold growth stretched in time. In the worst case scenario, company would go public at 10 Bil USD, i.e. at its historical peak. But there are well known platforms to buy shares of private companies, one of such platforms is Forge Global. You can buy shares of almost all blue chip startups. You can even invest in SpaceX! But as always, there is a catch - US government wants to protect not just US citizens but all people in the world (sounds ridiculous, right?). US law requires you to have 1 Mil USD net worth or 200'000 USD annual income if you want to buy shares of non-public company. So if you are high-net worth individual you can be called "accredited investor". Funny thing is that the law intends to protect US citizens but even if you are not US citizen and never even lived in US, this law is still applies to you in practice. So if you are "poor loser", platforms like Forge Global will reject you. So high-net worth individuals have access and opportunity to Bitcoin-style multi-magnitude growth every 5-10 years. Contrary to private equity markets, US public markets is low risk/low return type of market. If you have small amount of capital, it's just glorified way to protect yourself from inflation plus some little return on top. It's not bad, US public market is a still great way to store your wealth. But I'm deeply convinced that for small capital you must seek fundamentally different type of market - high risk/high return. It's just historical luck that Bitcoin/Ethereum/etc were available for general public from day one. But in reality, viral/exponential growth is happening quite often. It's just you don't have access to such type of markets due to regulatory reasons. I intentionally described these examples of financial discrimination in full details as I experienced them because I do feel that vast majority of people in the first world honestly think that current financial system works just fine and only criminals and terrorists are banned. In reality that's not true at all. 99.999% of innocent people are completely cut off from modern financial system in the name of fighting against money laundering. Here is a big picture why it's happening. There are rich countries (so called western world) and poor countries (so called third world). Financial wall is carefully built by two sides. Authoritarian leaders of poor countries almost always want full control over their population, they don't like market economy, and since market forces don't value their crappy legal system (because it works only for close friends of authoritarian leader) they must implement strict capital control. Otherwise, all capital will run away from their country because nobody really respects their crappy legal system. It only has value under heavy gun of government. Only friends of authoritarian leader can move their money out of country but not you. Leaders of rich countries want to protect their economy from "dirty money" coming from third world. Since citizens of poor countries never vote for leaders of rich countries nobody really cares if rich country just ban everyone from poor country. It's the most lazy way to fight against money laundering - simply ban everyone from certain country. Actually if you look deeper you will see that rich countries very rarely directly ban ordinary people from third world. Usually, there is no such law which doesn't allow me to open bank account somewhere in Europe as non-EU resident. What's really happens is that US/EU government implement very harsh penalties for financial institutions if anything ever goes wrong. So what's actually happens is that financial institutions (banks, brokerages etc) do de-risking. This is the most important word you must know about traditional financial system! So if you have wrong passport, financial institution (for example) bank from rich country just doesn't want to take any risks dealing with you even if you are willing to provide full documentation about your finances. It's well known fact that banks in Hong Kong, Europe, US like to unexpectedly shutdown accounts of thousands innocent businesses due to de-risking. So it's actually de-risking is the real reason why I was rejected so many times by financial institutions in the first world!!! It's de-risking actually responsible for banning 99.999% of innocent people. So governments of rich democratic countries formally have clean hands because they are not banning ordinary people from third world directly. All dirty job is done by financial institutions but governments are well aware of that, it's just more convenient way to discriminate. And nobody actually cares! Ordinary citizens in rich countries are never exposed to such problems and they really don't care about people in third world, after all they are not citizens of US/EU/UK/CH/CA/HK/SG/JP/AU/NZ. And now are you ready for the most hilarious part? If you are big corrupt bureaucrat from Russia you are actually welcome by the first world financial institutions! All Russian's junta keep their stolen money all across Europe and even in US. You might wonder how this is possible if the western financial system is so aggressive in de-risking. Here is a simple equation which financial institution should solve when they decide whether to open an account for you or not: Y - R = net profit Where: Y - how much profit they can make with you; R - how much regulatory risk they take while working with you; That's it! It's very simple equation. So if you are really big junta member from Russia you are actually welcome according to this equation. Banks have special name for serving (ultra) high-net worth individuals, it's called private banking. It's has nothing to do with the fact that bank is private. It's just fancy name for banking for rich. So what's usually happen in real world. Some Estonian or Danish bank got caught with large scale money laundering from Russia. European leaders are ashamed in front of their voters. They implement new super harsh law against money laundering to keep their voters happy. Voters are ordinary people, they don't care about details of new regulations. So banks get scared and abruptly shutdown ALL accounts of Russian customers. And European voters are happy. Modern money laundering laws are like shooting mouse in your house using bazooka! It's very efficient to kill mouse, right? Now imagine world without financial borders. It's hard to do so because we are all get so used to current status quo of traditional financial system. But with additional effort you can start asking questions - if Internet economy is so global and it doesn't really matter where HQ of startup is located, why they are all concentrated in just a few tiny places like Silicon Valley and ... well, that's mostly it if you count the biggest unicorns! Another question would be - why so many talented russian, indian, chinese programmers just go to the same places like San Francisco, London and make super rich companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple to get even richer? If all you need is laptop and access to internet, why you don't see any trade happening between first and third world? Well actually there is a trade between first and third world but it's not exactly what I want to see. Usually third world countries sell their natural resources through giant corporations to the first world. So it's possible to get access to the first world market from third world but this access usually granted only to big and established companies (and usually it means not innovative). Unicorns are created through massive parallel experiment. Every week bunch of new startups are created in Silicon Valley. Thousands and thousands startups are created in Silicon Valley with almost instant access to global market. Just by law of large numbers you have a very few of them who later become unicorns and dominate the world. But if you have wrong passport and you are located in "wrong" country where every attempt to access global market is very costly, then you most likely not to start innovative startup in the first place. In the best case scenario, you just create either local business or just local copy-paste startup (copied from the west) oriented on (relatively small) domestic market. Obviously in such setup it's predictable that places like Silicon Valley will have giant advantage and as a result all unicorns get concentrated in just a few tiny places. In the world without financial barriers there will be much smaller gap between rich and poor countries. With low barrier of entry, it won't be a game when winner takes all. Whole architecture of decentralized cryptocurrencies is intended to remove middle man and make transactions permissionless. Governments are inherently opposite to that, they are centralized and permissioned. Therefore, decentralized cryptocurrencies are fundamentally incompatible with traditional financial system which is full of middle mans and regulations (i.e. permissions). Real value of crypto are coming from third world, not the first world. People are buying crypto in rich countries just want to invest. Their financial system and their fiat money are more or less already working for them. So there is no immediate urgency to get rid of fiat money in the first world. So the first world citizens buying crypto on centralized KYCd exchanges are essentially making side bet on the success of crypto in third world. Real and natural environment of cryptocurrencies is actually dark OTC market in places like Venezuela and China. But cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have a big limitation to wide adoption in third world - high volatility. So the real target audience is oppressed (both by their own government and by first world governments) ordinary citizens of third world countries yet they are least who can afford to take burden of high volatility. Right now, Tether is a big thing for dark markets across the world (by the way, dark market doesn't automatically imply bad!). But Tether soon or later be smashed by US/EU regulators. The only real and working permissionless stable cryptocurrency (avoiding hyped word - stablecoin) is DAI. DAI is the currency for post-Tether world to lead dark OTC market around the world and subvert fiat currencies of oppressive third world governments. Once DAI become de-facto widespread currency in shadow economy in all of third world, then it will be accepted (after many huge push backs from governments) as a new reality. I'm talking about 10-20+ years time horizon. But if MakerDAO chooses the route of being compliance friendly then DAI will lose its real target audience (i.e. third world). I can not imagine US/EU calmly tolerate someone buying US stocks and using as a collateral to issue another security (i.e. DAI) which is going to be traded somewhere in Venezuela! You can not be compliance friendly and serve people in Venezuela. Facebook's Libra was stupidest thing I've seen. It's extremely stupid to ask permission from the first world regulators to serve third world and create borderless economy. Another stupid thing is to please third world governments as well. For example, Libra (if ever run) will not serve Indian, Chinese, Venezuelan people. Who is then going to use stupid Libra? Hipsters in Silicon Valley? Why? US dollars are good enough already.
Copied and pasted a long thread about the 2020s (part 2)
I have found a very interesting thread in a forum, I decided to copy and paste all the comments that the author of the post had made. The author posted this in 2019, the author also posted another in the past in 2018 about the same subject. But this will be about the 2019 post (part 2) I won't be sharing the link to the website because I want to protect the identity of the users since it is a mental health forum. But here is the link to part 1: https://www.reddit.com/The2020s/comments/dzpb6l/copied_and_pasted_a_long_thread_about_the_2020s/ --------------- Here we are! Today it is the year 2019, the near end of the 2010s.The 2010s was an interesting decade to say the least, internet use continued to spread like wildfire worldwide with more and more people becoming dependent on the internet. When I was a kid in the 2000s I felt like the odd one out because I was addicted to the desktop and I didn't know many other people who were addicted to computers, but today in the 2010s this seems like the new normal except now most people are carrying desktops in their own pockets (cellphones). In the 2000s politics was very moderate and there was much less polarization, now polarization is pretty much a growing trend with many people sharing very strong political believes on the internet. The internet became a political tool and metaphorically a source of political fuel in the 2010s, everyone can now share their believes on the internet and inspire a new group of followers, something that the world didn't have or realized it had until the 2010s and we are still getting used to this. In 2010 there were 6.9 billion people and 1.9 billion internet users, in 2019 there are about 7.8 billion people and about 4.5 billion internet users. Which means that internet use has increased by 237% while the world population has increased by at least 12%.By 2030 the world population is expected to reach 8.5 billion people and more than 7.5 billion people are expected to be internet users, that could very well be 90% of the worlds population. This means that the internet will truly begin to take over the world during the 2020s, it will continue to make big changes on how we will live and how we will communicate, it may become almost impossible to live in the western world without being online. Climate change is a big issue, in 2010 the global average temperature was 0.62 Celsius above 20th century average, in 2018 it was 0.79 Celsius above 20th century average. The 2018 temperatures may not seem like much but everyone who is informed about the summer of 2018 will agree that it was a very hot year, so hot that record wildfires within the arctic circle happened.By 2030 we could potentially reach 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming since pre-industrial times, again the number does not seem much but the consequences are huge. Mudslides from melting soil will turn mountains in death zones, lower food harvests and nutritional value will increase risks of starvation, loss of fresh water will result in wars over water, the Maldives will be flooded as well as Bangladesh which will cause huge mass migrations, the ice will melt even faster which are increasing sea levels, you get the idea.In the 2020s global warming will become a much bigger problem, but there is no guarantee that enough will be done to cut emissions. Developing countries such as India want nothing more than to have the same quality of life as the western world does, not much can be done to dissuade India until the country suffers greatly from global warming and the potential for growth seems impossible. As long as developing countries believe that growth is possible they will contribute massively to global emissions just as soon as the developed world begin to cut their emissions, and worse yet developing countries often have very high populations which will contribute to global warming even more than it could have done. In the 2020s there will be a new global superpower which would be decided by 2030, it is unlikely that America will remain the superpower due to its stagnant economy and the potential loss of trade partners in the near future. The most likely contenders for being the next global superpower is Russia and China, this struggle for power could potentially trigger a 2nd cold war. Global relations will change, there has been a growing loss of trust in the 2010s between nations and that trend will continue to escalate during the 2020s while new crises emerge.This loss of trust could result in balkanization in some parts of the world, particularly in ethnically diverse countries such as Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. Countries will begin to do their own thing and ignore international agreements as trust disintegrates, the Paris Agreement and the United Nations might be abandoned in the 2020s.To put it shortly, the world power will likely shift from Anglo-America to Asio-China/Russia, international co-operation and aid may regress into nationalistic autonomy, and from democracy to populism. Technologically, most breakthroughs will be related to the huge spread of the internet in some way, in other words most technological advances will be adaptations to the way we live with the internet and learning the full capability and power of it. 5g will be adopted reluctantly due to health concerns, but it will be adopted anyway at some point in the 2020s quickly and this will cause even more dramatic changes within our society. If you think our world has changed drastically so far just wait until 5g comes! By 2030 we could have fridges that are connected to the internet, many other inanimate objects would also be connected to the internet and whatever information is processed will be used to benefit companies as well as sniffing out bad behavior. Because of 5g, the 2020s may be the last decade when privacy is possible in society. Lastly, I am going to talk about generations and their role in the 2020s. Pretty much all Baby Boomers are going to retire in this decade to have their previous role as leaders replaced by Gen X, Gen Y will all be adults and will be trying to make big changes in the world, Gen Z will begin to grow into adults, there will be a new generation in the 2020s (generation beta). What do you think will happen in the 2020s? Very keen to read your thoughts about this topic!Have a good day. ------------------------- reply to user: Honestly I will never be able to answer with confidence about Brexit! I think many people in the parliament don't seem to know what to do, I think most likely Brexit will be on hold until the EU itself fails. Today the EU is already struggling to survive.How will the EU fail? When its financial situation gives European nations the incentive to leave so they can grow their economies by themselves without restrictions, the Syrian refugee crisis (5 million people) destabilized the EU to its core and it was the refugee crisis that started Brexit in the first place.Imagine what would happen to global politics if 20 million migrants went into Europe, it would certainly change a lot of things. reply to user:Religion could make a comeback in the 2020s, particularly in a scenario where climate change pushes people to turn to religion for comfort. Islam is on a sharp rise due to the fact that they have a lot of children, it will also become the biggest religion in the world in the near future, at that point most people on Earth will be Muslim.I think ISIS largely happened because of food shortages in Syria which resulted in civil war, if a similar thing happened in another vulnerable Muslim country then you can expect another wave of suicidal radicals wrecking havoc and forming another radical group.I have once predicted a similar uprising in North Africa resulting in a mass Christian migration into Europe, the number of Christian migrants could exceed 20 million. ----------------------- reply to user: Yeah the idea of the European Union has been a flawed and overly ambitious project right from the start, Europe is quite a divided continent with many countries having a strong sense of identity, trying to make Europe into one country will inevitably backfire. Without much doubt the EU will collapse, however it will live on under a different name by one or a few countries that still cling onto the vision.After EU falls there is a chance that a few more so-called unions may form, these unions may be alliances that share the same political views which could result in a polarization.Germany had a good shot at attempting to rule Europe again though, we tried it and probably won't do it again for a while. ----------------------- reply to user: Funny enough I have just very recently found out that the UK is going to have another general election, so far at the moment it looks like Labour is doing well with public approval, it is a likely possibility that Jeremy Corbyn may become the next prime minister.If Jeremy Corbyn becomes the next prime minister that would mean that Brexit will be cancelled, this could cause major polarization and unrest if there are still people who really want Brexit. Who knows what would happen if the majority of pro-Brexiteers protest in the streets because they didn't get what was promised to them? A British revolution is another real possibility. reply to user:Predicting elections will always be difficult for me because of how uncertain and at times random they all are, who would of thought that Trump would win in 2016? Would Trump win again in 2020? I mean it sounds crazy but if it happened in 2016 then it can certainly happen again in 2020. Although I do think that Trump has less of a chance of winning in 2020.A good thing to take note of is when Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement much of America didn't follow suite, there are many American companies who still follow the Paris Agreement guidelines because they don't agree with Trump, there are many Americans who have not been implementing Trumps policies.Elections can never be predicted with 100% confidence, but Trump is more likely to lose in 2020 than 2016. ------------------------------- Thank you all for your replies, they have been smart and intuitive contributions. :-D Last night I just began researching about the 1920s out of interest (I think I might have mentioned the 1920s in the old 2020s thread). I have just started learning about the 1920s so there is a lot that I don't know about it but there are a few themes that resonates with today trends, which I will mention below.And because I am not well informed about the 1920s the below information would be hypothetical and open to speculation. The 1920s was an economically prosperous time for the Western World, but the economic prosperity abruptly ended with the Stock Market Crash in 1929 and resulted in the Great Depression in the 1930s. A very similar situation is happening today but is happening much slower and at the moment is less severe, the Stock Market Crash in 2007-2008 resulted in an economic crawl that is still persisting to this day. I have a feeling however that the full effect of the 2007-2008 economic crisis is yet to be felt in full force. Political movements such as Socialism and Fascism were on the rise in the 1920s-1930s partly because of the economic situation, those parties believed that capitalism is out of control and needs intervention to prevent the degeneration of society. The term supercapitalism was created by Fascists, it pretty much means a degenerated form of capitalism that is doing more harm than good to society. The blame of the 1929 Stock Market Crash was placed on Capitalism by both Socialists and Fascists, anti-capitalism exploded in the 1930s which resulted in far-left/far-right nations fighting one another by the end of that decade. Lets say that the next Great Depression is to start in the early 2020s, we already have a lot of young people who have a favorable view on Socialism, on some level there are many people who are blaming Capitalism for the economic crisis. Nations have already been polarizing in the 2010s, so what would happen if we enter the next Great Depression and then a massive surge of Socialism/Fascism happens straight after? The world would be in a very similar situation as the world in pre-WWII. If the 2020s Great Depression happens then Capitalism in the Western World could end, the more young people has power over America the more likely that the nation will transition into a Socialist state. Kinda ironic because in the 20th century Anglo-America fought against Socialist Russia and in the end capitalism unexpectantly won as the leading world policy, but in the 2020s Russia may abandon their socialist past and turn to capitalism as they take advantage of the new resources revealed by global warming, just as Anglo-America turns Socialist Asio-Russia will turn Capitalist (I'm not sure about China, but I'm pretty sure that India is taking the capitalist route too). The Arctic will melt a lot during the 2020s, Russia may likely claim most of the new oil reserves which will cause worldwide tension as oil will be running out, America will be stuck with the last remaining reserves of oil in Alaska and Canada which may result in poor relations between Canada and America, eventually China may have most of the oil reserves in the Middle East because I believe that the Middle East will turn to China for economic interests as America begins to lose its grip on the region. Nothing is forever, everything changes.To those who fear for the future of America I just want to say this, even if America loses influence on the world America will still cling onto their core values in their own home and I can't see America giving up on the American dream, I think that the American dream is redefined by each of its passing generations. ------------------------------ This is probably the last comment I will post in this thread so I'll be sure to write out anything else I can predict or think about the 2020s, again I may be repeating things but at this point its hard to avoid because I posted quite alot about the 2020s at this point. I definitely agree with :user: that if WW3 were to happen in the 2020s it would be similar to how WW1 started, everything was fine then suddenly everything wasn't and the world fell into further chaos resulting in a world war. Currently I believe that the 2020s will start off with a cautious optimism, the decade where Gen X and Gen Y fully realises that the world is in their hands and they will bring about changes. If I could name a main theme of the end of the 2010s I would say 'youth in protest'. A growing number of young people believe that civilization won't be there when they grow up, they see no point in taking part in a society that they believe will inevitably fail due to climate change. In the 2020s the 'youth in protest' will grow to such a degree that societal values of the 20th century will be rendered obsolete. But where does the cautious optimism comes in? I believe the optimism is the result of hope of a better future as the youth wields more power to make changes. We will likely see a big wave of new famous Gen Z's and who knows what they could contribute to this world? Today(Nov,2019) we can all sense that things are changing but what if the changes of the 2010s are volcanic rumbles compared to the eruption of the 2020s? The 2020s will likely be a social and societal fragmentation, the crossroads of a post-consumerist world. Baby Boomers are largely responsible for the world we live in today, very soon Baby Boomers will lose their power over the world and that power will be passed onto the younger generations who have different values. Most Baby Boomers favor capitalism, a growing number of younger generations favor socialism. Conspiracy theories are a growing trend, due to the upheaval of technology it has become easier to believe in conspiracy theories because what was crazy 10 years ago seems feasible today. I think if everyone starts to believe in conspiracy theories then a lack of trust would become so hard to overcome that the government would have no choice but to allow a degree of autonomy. Allowing autonomy would cause more and more lands to demand independence, most of them will be city states like Hong Kong or Singapore. I can't think of anything else, going to conclude it here.The 2020s would either be the beginning of a new era or a long-winded dying of the present post-consumerist era. The Baby Boomers will recline on their chairs and leave the whole world to Gen X and Y, Gen Z will become adults. I haven't mentioned robots but they will begin to take some of our jobs, which can possibly trigger a neo-luddite movement. WW3 hopefully won't happen, a 2nd Cold War is more likely to happen though. Hopefully there won't be an epidemic like the Spanish flu, in this case it will most likely evolve from a strain of bird flu. Climate change will trigger protests and changes, some fear that its already too late to stop global warming. Thank you for reading, lets make the 2020s as good of a decade as possible. ---------------------------------- reply to user: Yeah I've been getting a growing sense that a British Civil War might happen, last year I could not see a civil war happening but now it seems like a real possibility, today it is easy to figure out why it would happen. I bet not many people in the 17th century civil war wanted it to happen and didn't think that it would happen but you can learn what ended up happening, Charles I got beheaded and maybe Boris Johnson might meet a similar fate.Not a certainty, I can never be certain but its something worth worrying and preparing for. In the 2020s, I think the U.A.E is a possible candidate for a world power and I can see them cutting deals from America and making deals with China instead 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend.'. Imagine if America-UK runs out of energy and oil resources, in this scenario it is likely that U.A.E+China+Russia will own all the remaining deposits by then and we may have no choice but to give up a degree of independence in exchange for some of their oil and energy.Another scenario is the race for the last of the remaining resources that our society still largely depends on, the nation that has the most resources will have the most power and nations that lack those resources will form alliances with them for resources in return.We may possibly see the first super-corporations being established, a very large and powerful corporation that may be the true power behind everything and maybe even more powerful than political figureheads.Those super-corporations may become independent nations that have their own goals and projects, mostly they involve technologies for either saving our eco-systems or to control us. I have once thought about the year 2075, I imagined a huge city (at that time many countries collapsed, civilization largely being left with city-states ran by trillionaires) the city uses mind control technology to maintain order, the A.I is used to help the elites figure out the next best course of action, human clones are used for labor and war, everyone is constantly being watched due to surveillance that will be almost everywhere.The 2020s will be the start of the new world that future generations will recognized as the true 21st century, 2000-2030 will be seen as a transitional period. ------------------------ We are only 2 days away from the 2020s, I am going to post about the decade predictions to avoid the regret of not posting it before the 2010s ends. I will have a bit of closure about my 2020s threads now that I'm doing this for the last time, I might be a bit risky and do my best to make a scenario story for fun even though about half of it will be inaccurate haha, since accurately predicting the future is like trying to fly without wings. But still, some of the predictions I have thought about have already come true even before the 2020s has started, which makes it clear that the world is changing faster than we thought and will continue to increase the throttle. There is already some tension between America and China over trade, at the moment as I write this they have agreed to a truce after a trade war that not many knew about but there is tension and might escalate in the near future, if America attacks another nation again then half of the world will turn against America and will cut all trade-ties with it which would cause America to descend into chaos. In short, America could get sanctioned but other nations will be at risk of being sanctioned if they commit any future acts of aggression. There would likely be more riots and terrorism, there will likely be a much worse refugee crisis caused both by climate change and acts of aggression by ISIS or a nation. There could be more online communities that provide a source of humanitarian relief and charity, some online communities will run on bitcoin(or other forms of cryptocurrency) so that they can afford more resources to help people with.I have once predicted that there will be a mass migration of Christians from North Africa due to Islamic radicalism, well as of 2019 there already are Christians in Nigeria (North Africa!) being beheaded by ISIS so a mass migration from North Africa is very possible, in fact the whole Arab Spring and its neighbors could produce masses of migrants due to the continuous descent into chaos. Out of all the Muslim nations Turkey-Saudi Arabia-Iran-U.A.E appear to be the most stable while others are highly vulnerable, I have a good feeling about U.A.E solely because it has many long-term goals to ensure economic security so I can see them having a good influence on Iran and Saudi Arabia, U.A.E will likely make trade deals with China and China could offer U.A.E military protection thus protecting the U.A.E from Saudi Arabia and Iran since the risk of a war going on in the Persian Gulf is high.Dubai will become a more important city and will become a cultural as well as scientific center, much of its workforce would likely be desperate people from South Asia looking for work. If a new superpower enters world-stage then the West could face sanctions for acts of war against the Arab Spring, especially if the new power is disapproving towards the West, if the West is sanctioned then it will enter a long-term economic depression and could be forced to house refugees.Populism will spread as more people feel like they are living through a crisis, populist candidates appeal to people by presenting themselves as the solution to their crisis. Populism has been on the rise in the 2010s and many people believe that most populist movements have been right-wing, the most common theme of 2010s-populism are anti-immigration and America/Britain first, those populist movements have resulted in Brexit and Donald Trumps presidency.If populism continues to spread in the 2020s then we will see more and more nations implementing anti-emigration policies and we will see them turn away from globalization as they retreat into the concerns of their own nation. The European Union will decay due to countries leaving, the United Nations too will decay as countries start to defy and leave so they can do their own thing, globalization is at a big risk in the 2020s. Largely due to technology more and more people will begin to lose their jobs, and more people will lose their homes to man-made disasters. Self-driving cars will begin to render Uber Drivers and Taxi drivers obsolete, mass-production is becoming more automatic so more people who work in mass-production will lose their jobs, self-checkout machines in shops will continue to slowly render retailers obsolete. Newspapers are dead, and soon TV will be.Nations will be able to provide more resources with robots but there will be less consumers since not many people would be able to afford to buy many things, this would cause a worldwide economic crisis and we are overdue for a 1920s-style economic crash.What will the government do with all those homeless and unemployed people? Universal income will be the most likely solution but it is highly unlikely that many people would live comfortably since they will have to work very hard to survive and you'd have to be very lucky to get a job, in turn people will begin to reject the government and the system, some (hopefully many) people could turn to online communities to support one another and due to the failing economy will turn to cryptocurrency which they use to support themselves. The Sagrada Familia will finally be complete, I think it would be nice to make the wonder of Sagrada Familia the icon of the 2020s. Other projects will be completed as well such as The London Super Sewer, The Giant Magellan Telescope, The Square Kilometer Array radio telescope, a few big bridges (and a tunnel for boats in Norway) and a few new railways here and there. There will be at least a few major space achievements thanks to Elon Musk and some privatized science projects will offer few more major breakthroughs in science, the first manned mission to Mars is scheduled in the 2020s but its chance for success is low due to the many risks and dangers, space junk will become a much bigger problem and will need to be cleaned up before we will never be able to leave the Earth. The mission to Mars would likely be re-scheduled or postponed. 3D printing is expected to enter mainstream which in itself will change many things, 3D printing could even render some shops obsolete because you could print whatever stuff you want at home instead of going to a shop looking for what you want, a creator sub-culture may develop from 3D printing enthusiasts.Vertical farms are expected to be erected for the first time in cities, this trend will grow because agriculture is also expected to fail in the long-run so there is a lot of funding put into vertical farming because vertical farming could replace conventional field farming, in the 2020s however vertical farms will only generate a very small percentage of food and its produce would not be sold in mainstream shops for a while.Lab grown meat will be a new growing trend in the 2020s, but its adoption will be slow due to skepticism and lack of popularity. Will there be wars? Likely more than the 2010s.Because not much has been resolved at 2019 we can expect things to grow more tense, especially since we are all facing an impending global warming crisis and a decline of globalization. Russia and China will become more dominant and influential throughout the world, developing countries will bear the brunt of climate change while the developed countries are increasingly destabilized by the flocks of refugees flooding in, developing countries could be reduced into war-zones like Syria in the 2010s.The trade-wars between America and China could involve other world powers and it could escalate into the 2nd Cold War, with a Cold War there is always the chance of a 3rd World War looming.The west will decay as the western economy worsens, Russia and China would exploit whatever resource they can get with their new influence in a decaying world but their economic growth will be fragile too.China is threatened by the loss of fresh water once the Himalayan ice melts, much of Chinese agriculture is threatened by floods, when the Chinese eco-system fails then you can expect them to attack their neighbours or best-case scenario demand resources from their allies.Russia is threatened by the same thing that will give them economic prosperity, global warming, when the ice melts the methane would doom us all and will also release long-forgotten epidemics into our world, Russia will face a huge refugee crisis coming from the south due to water shortages so you can expect Russia to heavily enforce their borders.European politics will change drastically due to responses from refugees, if Europe refuses most refugees then it is possible that armies of angry refugees could invade Europe in the future.Africa is gaining so much but that growth will not be expected to last due to climate change, water wars reduce some areas into anarchy like Libya in the 2010s, Nigeria-Ethiopia-South Africa would likely be the most prosperous countries of the continent, the African countries that are developing would likely begin to adopt the same lifestyle as the West is living like eating fast food and being online all day long. I do not know much about South America but some parts appear to be on a verge of political change and turmoil, I do believe that they are at risk for water shortages due to melting ice in the Andes, I can't see them stopping the destruction of the Amazon so that will be ongoing. South America will grow economically but like the rest of the world it will be a highly vulnerable growth.Australia will continue to be burnt alive by wildfires, we should start seeing more and more Australians moving to colder areas such as Tasmania New Zealand and Britain. Indonesia will continue to destroy their rain-forests to make money out of palm oil, don't know what their political situation would be though but would most likely go down the capitalist path. All in all the 2020s will be a time of disruption, the pace of life will get faster and faster, fake news and deep fakes will spread, misinformation will be rife, as the internet spreads and becomes more disruptive more restrictions will be put on the internet, because we are growing more dependent on technology cyber-attacks or power-cuts could bring us back to the late 20th century, people will grow more scared and desperate and may turn to drastic courses of action if said course of action is the only solution.We are at risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and bird flu, obesity and depression will become a bigger burden than it already is, transgender people will be the new normal as people are now coming out as transhuman, in some parts of cities driving a car could be banned because of driverless cars replacing transportation in some city centers, cars are switching to hybrid/electricity as electric car plugs appear in many built-up areas, more and more people have had their DNA stored into a database and I can't say for sure how this data will be used. Online communities give me hope, and I hope that online communities become so rich with cryptocurrency and popular that when the decaying society that thrived in the 20th century fails we got the new online society to fall back onto and rebuild a new society from scratch instead of trying to rebuilt a society that failed us. I wish us all the best of luck. --------- reply to user: I think you are definitely right about 2020 Britain being pretty much the same as 2019 Britain except that it could get worse especially since the NHS is in the process of being privatized which sucks for me too because I am a Type 1 Diabetic, I am inclined to think that Boris Johnson will resign in the near future just to be replaced by another equally unqualified/unpopular Tory. I am going to be a bit controversial and biased but I want to blame Democracy for the situation that Britain is in right now and I want to explain why I am skeptical towards Democracy.So the idea of Democracy is to get the public to choose who becomes the leader and its down to the public to make that important choice, but many people do not want to run the country and many people do not know what is best for their country.In a Democratic society the best way to win a vote is to promise the public everything and appeal to them, you don't have to be good at politics to win and you don't have to tell people of your true intentions all you have to do is lie and be charismatic. Politicians probably hire professional psychologists to trick people into voting for them because they know how to trick the system to get them into the position that they both don't deserve or are qualified for. Its no wonder why Politicians are losing their efficiency, they do it as a job because many politicians do not need to be good at running a country to become the leader and like I said they just need to know what the people want to hear and to put on a charismatic face.I believe that running the country should be reserved for those who want to run the country and have the countries best interest at heart, it should be reserved for professionals who know what they are doing and have had years of training as well as experience. In a Democracy if you get two candidates, one is a businessman who is very charismatic but only knows about business, the other one is a ex-Sergeant who has had 20 years of experience in the administrative field but he is not as charismatic. Even though the Businessman is less qualified he will win because he is charismatic and knows how to trick people into voting for him instead of the professional, repeat this process and you'll end up with a very ineffective government or circus full of charismatic millionaires who trick and lie to the public to maintain their lofty position in society. And that is probably how Britain ended up with the government it has, people have been lied to and people don't know who is best for their country so we end up voting for the wrong people or get tricked into believing that Democracy is the best form of government.Sadly Democracy will put Britain(as well as other nations) at risk of a power hungry Populist who will present him/herself as against the present government and will use his/her charisma to appeal to us to make us believe that the Populist is the solution to all of our problems caused by the government, but once the Populist gets elected s/he will show his/her true colors and the public will soon regret their vote.This process will keep repeating itself while we have Democracy, I believe that its not working and maybe we are better off leaving our politics to the professionals elected by professionals. I also want to thank you for all the replies you posted on my 2020s posts, they have helped keeping the 2020s posts alive. Again, thank you. --------------------- reply to user: Not only that but many people are also misinformed because Democratic candidates lie and be all fake to get votes and on top that they also spread rumors about other candidates or pretty much anything so that they'll get more votes, its bad because not only many people already don't know what is best for their country but they will find it very difficult to know for sure what will be best because of all the lies and misinformation. --------------------- reply to user: Its scary that some people out there actually believe that Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semetic, its such a ridiculous and desperate accusation just to make Jeremy Corbyn look bad and lose. And its scary because if people actually believe those bogus anti-Semetic accusations then it just shows how much the media controls us all.Donald Trump is indeed right about journalists and fake news being an issue, but I think the reason why journalism is such a joke in America is because it is privatized and they are becoming desperate so that they can survive kinda like 'IT' from the Steven King novel.Capitalism and privatization can corrupt journalism because capitalism makes journalism more about money and getting attention so it degenerates into what it currently is, but Donald Trump is very capitalist, which could mean that Donald Trump is a cause of journalism gone wrong and he is getting backlash from the world he helped to create whether he knows it or not. Journalism does need to be regulated, especially now we are becoming fully aware of how powerful mass media can be. I could be blaming capitalism because of mass media and it could turn out that capitalism isn't to blame after all, but I still believe that its probably best for journalism to just focus on entertainment and to leave actual news to a more professional environment where the professionals highly focus on telling the people about unbiased truths. ------------------------------
I hosted an AMA somewhere else and it got more responses than I thought it would. I did some searching on reddit, but found a post that was about 3 years old, and one that was from someone at a start up. Thought I could contribute from a large company perspective. start up AMA: https://www.reddit.com/japanlife/comments/50ewvi_am_a_software_engineer_web_mobile_for_a/ a few years old AMA: https://www.reddit.com/japan/comments/34j2y3/software_engineers_of_japan_whats_it_like/ I'm going to leave some FAQs here, but feel free to ask away. I am an American engineer at AmaAppGooBookSoft in Japan. (Amazon or Apple or Google or Facebook or Microsoft). I transferred here from the US after working a year or so there. At the time of this writing, I have been in Tokyo for about 3 years. Answers from OP with regards to things related to work will be in the context of these kinds of big software companies. I would encourage others who live in Japan that are qualified to answer questions to do so! Wish I had this info before I transferred. Q: How is the pay, hours? A: Hours are super normal like they were in the US. Wfh, etc is like the US...but might vary by manager. I knew a designer whose Japanese boss was not on the wfh boat. Pay is terrible. Entry level engineer initial offer was 7.5M yen w/5k USD stock per year. I negotiated up to 8.25M base pay. Currently mid-level engieer and at about 9.5M yen and 15k USD/year (~105k USD total?). This is offset somewhat by affordable housing. Think 1.5k USD for a decent apartment, but smaller. Also health insurance is part of taxes, so you don't need to pay extra for it. Train commute is paid for by company. Don't need a car, either. It's a very livable salary, tbh. Q: How is the dating scene for internationals? Are Japanese people open to dating people from other races? What about LGBTQ? A: I'd say definitely. I met my wife here. If you are particularly looking for a date, dating apps and goukon (group dating) is a good way to go. As far as LGBTQ, yeah, for sure! Shinjuku ni cho me is the place for you (and also dating apps). (新宿二丁目) Q: Do you like cost of living better in Tokyo than the states? A: Yes! My total taxes are about 25% of my gross monthly salary and that includes health insurance. Clinics are insanely cheap because the government regulates the cost of medicine and pays 70% of your medical bills. I was once in the hospital for a week in a private room and it costed about 2500 USD. I opted for the fancy private room, though. My wife gave birth and it costed 2k or so. She had a private room in a hospital with amazing food for a week. I was allowed to stay in the room as well and got food. Rent is reasonable (1.5k or so) for a 700sqft place. Things that annoy me: Albums are like, 30 bucks. New release 4k Blu Ray movies range from 60-85 bucks. Old non-4k Blu Ray movies cost about 35-40 bucks. Groceries are a bit more expensive, but the quality is worth it. Our monthly food budget for 2 adults is about 800 bucks a month. Restaurants are very cheap. Like, 8-10 bucks for lunch. Usually under 1000 yen. Q: I heard Japanese can be racists towards non Japanese living in Japan. True? A: True! To some degree. I had the best resume a realtor had ever seen: N1 fluency in Japanese. I studied at the "Harvard of Japan" for a year. 5 year visa (longest duration). High paying job at a huge company. Stable work history. 5/6 landlords didn't give a shit. "no gaijin". You will also not receive service at probably 95% of "adult... services", if you're into that. When I was in college, a few part time jobs I applied to straight up told me they didn't hire foreigners. But once you're settled in, it's not that noticeable. Your average encounter will be pretty friendly. I'd say it's more rare to experience it. Q: Do you know any Japanese? How essential is it in your wok and your daily life? A: I am N1 level fluent. But I was dismayed that all that studying didn't mean anything for work, haha. Most engineers are foreigners. Everyone speaks English at the office and they have to know it because the code base is in English. Daily life, I use it all the time. My wife doesn't speak English as well as I speak Japanese. I also know several people who don't speak at all, and they seem to get by. Companies will often pay for Japanese classes as well, and let you attend during work hours. Q: Did you just apply for Tokyo positions? How did the visa work? A: Yup! I just applied. Visa was taken care of by a company hired by my employer. Mine was tricky because I didn't major in CS. There is a law that a work visa applicant must have a degree related to the field of work, or have 10 years experience. Since I majored in Japanese, they added "required to translate Japanese in addition to coding" to the job description, and boom. Visa. (I ended up doing semi-voluntary stuff like office hours in addition to my engineering work, where I needed to use Japanese) They'll figure it out, whatever the case is. Q: Did you start working in Japan after graduation or moved from the US? Is it easy to get permanent residence if you wanted? A: I transferred internally after a year or so in the US. PR is very attainable under certain circumstances. There is a point system. You get points for age (younger is better), salary, work experience, and Japanese ability. 80 points means that you only have to live in Japan for a year to get PR. 70 points, 3 years. http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_3/en/evaluate/index.html Look at the Excel sheet and find the tab for regular workers (not researchers or business owners). Q: How comfortable is your life there compared to the US? Does money go further? A: Very comfortable. If you buy a place (and have permanent residence), you're looking at interest rates as low as 0.495% (mine). I have a 500k USD condo and I pay about 1300/month. 33 year loan. Plus about 350/month in maintenance for the building. Groceries are a bit more expensive, but worth it. Restaurants are much cheaper. Like, 800-1000 yen for lunch. Monthly grocery budget for 2 adults is about 800 bucks (my situation, not counting baby expenses). Convenience stores are AMAZING and have great food (for a convenience store). I regularly get a crispy lettuce sandwich, onigiri and can Coffee for breakfast at the shop outside work. Spending power is pretty low, though. Most consumer goods are really expensive. New release 4k Blu Ray is about 65-80 bucks. Old Blu Rays (Disney and marvel as examples) are 35-40 bucks. But Netflix and Hulu are here and have American and some Japanese content. Internet speed is awesome. Gigabit in most places. But apps and Japanese webforms are fucking terrible. Most things feel like the state of the internet 10 or 15 years ago. One of my banks prevents you from using special characters for your password. Swear to God. A lot of foreigners find it difficult to get a credit card. Especially if you are under 30. Just got to UFJ Mitsubishi. Open an account and you can get a debit card you can use online. All in all, I love it here (aside from work - projects I don't want to work on and a low salary compared to the US). We live 5 minutes from a major train station, which means 5 minutes to dozens of restaurants, a handful of grocery stores, some pharmacies, a few clinics, and a mall. Q: I heard it was easy to internally transfer to Japan (or anywhere with the pay cut) but extremely hard to transfer back to the US so people might get stuck overseas. Is this true? Oh and supposedly transferring to tends to be a promotion +1 level or potentially 2 whereas from leads to a demotion? A: I don't think this is true at all. I know a few people who have gone back. I also did not go up when I came to Japan, and I know people who moved to the US and they did not move down. Q: Is there any American things you miss while in Japan? A: American internet. God, Japan is so technologically behind it drives me nuts sometimes. It's like the internet from 10-15 years ago. Apps suck. Japanese websites suck. Internet banking and apps suck. One of my banks *prevents* you from using special characters in your password. Streaming services exist, but they're not anywhere near as ubiquitous as they are in the US. I also miss how cheap Blu-rays are. 35 bucks for Zootopia? Come on. Internet is shitty, but FAST, though. Gigabit everywhere. Q: The idea of working abroad is pretty novel. Sounds like you have no regrets about the time you spent there? A: Yes!! I'd definitely do it again, but I might have waited until I had been mid-level engineer for a year or more. The 2 rounds of paycuts was rough. First was base pay, then a surprise paycut when my US stock grants fully vested. Went from expected value of 30k/year to new grants at expected value of 5k. There is a lot to love about Tokyo. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Q: Visiting Japan soon, what do you recommend doing at night that is friendly to gaijins in Tokyo/Shibuya? I’ve heard a lot of bars/clubs are no gaijins. A: I would say that's probably rarer. Shinjuku has a good bar scene where you can do some serious bar hopping. If you are super concerned about getting turned away (a really terrible experience. It's really a shitty feeling), then stick to Roppongi! You may also find some ladies (or men) there that are very into foreigners. Shibuya also has quite a few clubs that are foreigner friendly. There's even a soapland that caters specifically to foreigners, if you want that experience. It's in Kawasaki, I think it's called paradise inn. The most tourist-ey thing is "robot restaurant" (also in Shinjuku). I took my American boss there on a business trip (before I moved here) and he fucking loved it. Sky tree or Tokyo tower are also great at night. Q: Do you have any take on how big the cryptocurrency craze is or was there compared to United States? Do you own any bitcoin personally? A: I haven't been into the crypto scene. But I think it's more known here. There's even a few big name stores that accept bitcoin. Don't remember which ones, but they charge like, 20% more if you pay in BC. I don't own any, though. Q: Is AmaAppGooBookSoft japan mostly for SDEs? Or is there place for us non engineering muggles? A: Lol, Muggles. Yes!! There are TPMs, SDMs, UX designers, etc. But the more you get into the business side (vendor managers, TAM, site merchandiser, etc), the more you will probably be required to speak and be literate in Japanese. Q: What made you move to japan for an engineering role? Never heard that before. A: I've wanted to live in Japan since I was a teenager. Spent a year there in University and 2 exchanges in highschool. Originally I just wanted to live in Japan. So after I graduated, I did a few interviews for English teaching. After one of the interviews, they asked me to prepare a lesson plan. My immediate reaction was, "I don't care about a lesson plan, I just want to live in Japan!" Then I realized I needed to calm the fuck down and get there by doing something that I like, and with a marketable skill. I just didn't know what that skill would be...I landed a shit temp job testing Japanese games. Ended up getting an automatable task and googled how to automate it. Then found what I wanted to do. Got into AmaAppGooBookSoft as a contractor, interviewed and got FTE, then made my way to Japan internally. Q: I speak 0 japanese will this be a huge issue? Also if I am a mid-level engineer in usa how much equivalent jp total compensation should I be looking for? A: Not an issue at all for work. Most of the engineers are foreigners. You'll also be able to get by out in the real world. But I'd suggest taking Japanese classes. Company will pay for it here. That would probably equate to maybe 9.5M-110M yen and about 15-20k in RSUs per year? I have zero knowledge of the pay bands here, but I believe 200k is just above middle for US? I make about 9.5, but I have no idea where that is in the pay band. Whatever they offer you, negotiate for more. Always negotiate. It is plenty to live on. You can get a nice place for 150,000/month and a nicer place for 200,000/month. If you want to live further from work or get a smaller place you could get rent as low as 80,000/month, with a 30 minute train ride. Restaurants are very cheap for lunch. Maybe 700-1100 for lunch? Very cheap compared to the states. Company will pay for your daily commute fees. Spending power is low, though. Media is really expensive. Do some searches on Amazon Japan for common stuff to get an idea. FYI, my take home is about 600,000/month to give you an idea about taxes. No need to pay for health insurance plans. The government has you covered. In a month, I spend 144,000 on mortgage, 36,000 on maintenance, about 15,000 on electric + gas (total), about 3,000 on water, about 5,000 on internet, about 80,000 on food for 2 adults, 60,000 for "allowance" for myself and wife, 3,000 on phone (LINE mobile!!! If you go through SoftBank or docomo, or other big players, expect 10,000/month), about 150,000 on miscellaneous stuff, and try to save the rest. Let me know if I'm missing anything expense you are thinking of. Q: 1. Do you know if unvested stocks earned in the US keep vesting in the US? 2. Understand that salary is lower, but are savings about the same in terms of dollars? A: 1. GREAT question!! Yes!! Stock that was granted in the states continues to vest at the agreed to schedule. It will still be 100% taxed by the US, but you'll get some of it back. Taxes are such that the fraction of time spent in a country during a vest will determine how much tax goes to that country. Example: you have a 2 year vest and transfer with the last year vesting while you are in Japan. Once it vests, US takes the usual tax rate, but should return about half of that back because half of it was "earned" in Japan. Japan will then apply their tax rate to the other half. 2. No, savings is still less. Because cost of living isn't toooo drastically different, but you make a lot less,you really end up taking a bath on savings. Like, currently for my family of 3, we end up saving about 700 USD a month in cash. In the states, it would be about the same (after 3k rent and a 1k car payment...Tesla, baby), we would end up saving about the same in cash (except we'd also pad our "allowance" by an additional total of 700 bucks). Then you look at stock. 15k gross value in the RSUs in Japan vs 30-50k in the US. Pretty big difference, IMO. Q: So if you don't speak any Japanese, could you still make it in terms of acquiring a visa? If so, how long would it take to acquire intermediate level proficiency in Japanese you think? A: Yes, but you'll need a degree from the sciences, probably. Or 10 years experience. Intermediate level is maybe 1200 hours of study? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese-Language_Proficiency_Test#Estimated_study_time Q: How do you feel about "Cool Biz" campaign and what is the general public opinion about it? A: Hard to tell because I work at a US company. I'm shielded from a lot of stuff like that. 28 C is a terribly hot temperature, though, Jesus. I don't really hear it being brought up that much on the morning talk shows, but I don't watch every day. Wish I could be of more help. It's definitely not 28 degrees in my office. We absolutely have AC because we don't want our employees to needlessly suffer in order to scrape a bit off of our electric bill. Q: Why did you wanna go to Japan in the first place? A: It started with martial arts when I was in elementary school. Always liked Japanese food, and in high school, anime, judo, and Japanese language. But when I started studying the language, I got super into it. I've been aiming to live here since I was a teenager been 10 times before moving including a few study abroads (1 year in college, 2 weeks, and another 2 weeks in HS). I've always liked the craftsmanship that is in Japan. Watch Jiro dreams of sushi. Perfectly captures the "shokunin" spirit. That guy is like 90 and he still chases perfection. There are LOTS of examples of this, but I love that about Japan. And Tokyo is just super convenient. Trains go everywhere in the country. Don't need a car. I live 5 minutes from Meguro station. So 5 minutes away from 5 grocery stores, 2 or 3 clinics, a few dentists, a mall, transportation of course, and dozens of restaurants. Love the convenience here. Q: How do the taxes work for US citizen? Do US citizens pay taxes twice for income earned in Japan (once in Japan and again in US)? A: Taxes are relatively simple. You pay taxes to Japan, you report income to the US. I think once your income exceeds a certain amount (100 some odd thousand), you will be taxed on the difference of that minus taxes to Japan. So, like if the amount was 100k and you made 110k, they'd tax you if the taxes you paid to Japan on that 10k were less than the US would have taxed. But it's the diff. So if the US would have taken 3k of that 10k, but Japan took 2k, you'd owe the US 1k. So it's not that bad. Stock is way more complicated because it depends on where you were for the duration of the vest and where it was granted. For example, I had a 4 year vest and moved to Japan in year 3. The third year, I had "earned" that 2 years in the US and 1 in Japan. So the US took more taxes. I mean, the second it vests, the US takes their full tax rate, but they'll give a bunch back at tax season. And Japan will take some of that. You usually come out on top somehow. Like, last year, I had 60k or something vesting. I got back 12k from the US and had to pay Japan 5k. The US had initially taken about 16k of that 60k. The percentage of tax paid depends on how long you were in a given country during the vest. Negotiate a tax accountant into your contract. My employer uses another company and I don't have calculate all this shit. I only know it because I want to know how it works, so I ask my accountants a bunch of annoying questions. Once you start getting grants in Japan, no money is taken at vest, and you pay Japan for taxes on the vest value in January. Q: My wife and Iove Japan very much, we’ve always talked about “living there for some years”. However we have 2 kids (less than 3 years) and I’m concerned it would be hard for them. Since you mentioned that your kid, do you think moving there is a bad idea ? A: It depends. If you are already doing parenting on hard mode instead of support network mode, I think it won't be much different. I know someone who went from Tokyo back to the US, but moved back for the same reason: lack of support. I think it would be harder on you than them. Just make sure you bring English books and media. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have a decent amount of kids programming here that is in English as well.
Quant Network: Token valuation dynamics and fundamentals
This post intends to illustrate the dynamics and fundamentals related to the mechanics and use of the Quant Network Utility Token (QNT), in order to provide the community with greater clarity around what holding the token actually means. This is a follow-up on two articles David W previously wrote about Quant Network’s prospects and potential, which you can find here:
For holders not intending to use Overledger for business reasons, the primary goal of holding the QNT token is to benefit from price appreciation. Some are happy to believe that speculation will take the QNT price to much higher levels if and when large-scale adoption/implementation news comes out, whilst others may actually prefer to assess the token’s utility and analyse how it would react to various scenarios to justify a price increase based on fundamentals. The latter is precisely what I aim to look into in this article. On that note, I have noticed that many wish to see institutional investors getting involved in the crypto space for their purchase power, but the one thing they would bring and that is most needed in my opinion is fundamental analysis and valuation expectations based on facts. Indeed, equity investors can probably access 20 or 30 reports that are 15 pages long and updated on a quarterly basis about any blue chip stock they are invested in, but how many of such (professional) analyst reports can you consult for your favorite crypto coins? Let me have a guess: none. This is unfortunate, and it is a further reason to look into the situation in more details. To be clear, this article is not about providing figures on the expected valuation of the token, but rather about providing the community with a deeper analysis to better understand its meaning and valuation context. This includes going through the (vast) differences between a Utility Token and a Company Share since I understand it is still blurry in some people’s mind. I will incorporate my thoughts and perspective on these matters, which should not be regarded as a single source of truth but rather as an attempt to “dig deeper”. In order to share these thoughts with you in the most pertinent manner, I have actually entirely modelled the Quant Treasury function and analysed how the QNT token would react to various scenarios based on a number of different factors. That does not mean there is any universal truth to be told, but it did help in clarifying how things work (with my understanding of the current ruleset at least, which may also evolve over time). This is an important safety net: if the intensity of speculation in crypto markets was to go lower from here, what would happen to the token price? How would Quant Treasury help support it? If the market can feel comfortable with such situation and the underlying demand for the token, then it can feel comfortable to take it higher based on future growth expectations — and that’s how it should be. Finally, to help shed light on different areas, I must confess that I will have to go through some technicalities on how this all works and what a Utility Token actually is. That is the price to pay to gain that further, necessary knowledge and be in a position to assess the situation more thoroughly — but I will make it as readable as I possibly can, so… if are you ready, let’s start!
A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what is the difference?
It is probably fair to say that many people involved in the crypto space are unfamiliar with certain key financial terms or concepts, simply because finance is not necessarily everyone’s background (and that is absolutely fine!). In addition, Digital Assets bring some very novel concepts, which means that everyone has to adapt in any case. Therefore, I suggest we start with a comparison of the characteristics underpinning the QNT Utility Token and a Quant Network Company Share (as you may know, the Company Shares are currently privately held by the Quant Network founders). I believe it is important to look at this comparison for two reasons:
Most people are familiar with regular Company Shares because they have been traded for decades, and it is often asked how Utility Tokens compare.
Quant Network have announced a plan to raise capital to grow their business further (in the September 2019 Forbes article which you can find here). Therefore, regardless of whether the Share Offering is made public or private, I presume the community will want to better understand how things compare and the different dynamics behind each instrument.
So where does the QNT Utility Token sit in Quant Network company and how does it compare to a Quant Network Company Share? This is how it looks: https://preview.redd.it/zgidz8ed74y31.png?width=1698&format=png&auto=webp&s=54acd2def0713b67ac7c41dae6c9ab225e5639fa What is on the right hand side of a balance sheet is the money a company has, and what is on the left hand side is how it uses it. Broadly speaking, the money the company has may come from the owners (Equity) or from the creditors (Debt). If I were to apply these concepts to an individual (you!), “Equity” is your net worth, “Debt” is your mortgage and other debt, and “Assets” is your house, car, savings, investments, crypto, etc. As you can see, a Company Share and a Utility Token are found in different parts of the balance sheet — and that, in itself, is a major difference! They indeed serve two very different purposes:
Company Shares: they represent a share of a company’s ownership, meaning that you actually own [X]% of the company ([X]% = Number of shares you possess / Total number of shares) and hence [X]% of the company’s assets on the left hand side of the balance sheet.
Utility Tokens: they are keys to access a given platform (in our case, Quant Network’s Operating System: Overledger) and they can serve multiple purposes as defined by their Utility Document (in QNT’s case, the latest V0.3 version can be found here).
As a consequence, as a Company Shareholder, you are entitled to receive part or all of the profits generated by the company (as the case may arise) and you can also take part in the management decisions (indeed, with 0.00000001% of Apple shares, you have the corresponding right to vote to kick the CEO out if you want to!). On the other hand, as a Utility Token holder, you have no such rights related to the company’s profits or management, BUT any usage of the platform has to go through the token you hold — and that has novel, interesting facets.
A Utility Token vs. a Company Share: what happens in practice?
Before we dig further, let’s now remind ourselves of the economic utilities of the QNT token (i.e. in addition to signing and encrypting transactions):
Licences: a licence is mandatory for anyone who wishes to develop on the Overledger platform. Enterprises and Developers pay Quant Network in fiat money and Quant Treasury subsequently sets aside QNT tokens for the same amount (a diagram on how market purchases are performed can be found on the Overledger Treasury page here). The tokens are locked for 12 months, and the current understanding is that the amount of tokens locked is readjusted at each renewal date to the prevailing market price of QNT at the time (this information is not part of the Utility Token document as of now, but it was given in a previous Telegram AMA so I will assume it is correct pending further developments).
Usage: this relates to the amount of Overledger read and write activity performed by clients on an ongoing basis, and also to the transfer of Digital Assets from one chain to another, and it follows a similar principle: fiat money is received by Quant Network, and subsequently converted in QNT tokens (these tokens are not locked, however).
Gateways: information about Gateways has been released through the Overledger Network initiative (see dedicated website here), and we now know that the annual cost for running a Gateway will be 500 QNT whilst Gateway holders will receive a percentage of transaction fees going through their setup.
Minimum holding amounts: the team has stated that there will be a minimum QNT holding amount put in place for every participant of the Overledger ecosystem, although the details have not been released yet.
On the right hand side, you see the simplified Profit & Loss account (“P&L”) which incorporates Total Revenues, from which costs and taxes are deducted, to give a Net Income for the company. A share of this Net Income may be distributed to Shareholders in the form of a Dividend, whilst the remainder is accounted as retained profits and goes back to the balance sheet as Equity to fund further growth for instance. Importantly, the Dividend (if any) is usually a portion of the Net Income so, using an indicative 40% Dividend yield policy, shareholders receive here for a given year 80 out of total company revenues of 1,000.
On the left hand side, you see the QNT requirements arising from the Overledger-related business activity which equal 700 here. Note that this is only a portion of the Total Revenues (1,000) you can see on the right hand side, as the team generates income from other sources as well (e.g. consultancy fees) — but I assume Overledger will represent the bulk of it since it is Quant Network’s flagship product and focus. In this case, the equivalent fiat amount of QNT tokens represents 700 (i.e. 100% of Overledger-related revenues) out of the company’s Total Revenues of 1,000. It is to be noted that excess reserves of QNT may be sold and generate additional revenues for the company, which would be outside of the Overledger Revenues mentioned above (i.e. they would fall in the “Other Revenues” category).
A way to summarise the situation from a very high level is: as a Company Shareholder you take a view on the company’s total profits whereas as a Utility Token holder you take a view on the company’s revenues (albeit Overledger-related). It is however too early to reach any conclusion, so we now need to dig one level deeper again.
More considerations around Company Shares
As we discussed, with a Company Share, you possess a fraction of the company’s ownership and hence you have access to profits (and losses!). So how do typical Net Income results look in the technology industry? What sort of Dividend is usually paid? What sort of market valuations are subsequently achieved? Let’s find out: https://preview.redd.it/eua9sqlt74y31.png?width=2904&format=png&auto=webp&s=3500669942abf62a0ea1c983ab3cea40552c40d1 As you can see, the typical Net Income Ratio varies between around 10% and 20% in the technology/software industry (using the above illustrated peer group). The ratio illustrates the proportion of Net Income extracted from Revenues. In addition, money is returned to Company Shareholders in the form of a Dividend (i.e. a portion of the Net Income) and in the form of Share repurchases (whereby the company uses its excess cash position to buy back shares from Shareholders and hence diminish the number of Shares available). A company may however prefer to not redistribute any of the profits, and retain them instead to fund further business growth — Alphabet (Google) is a good example in this respect. Interestingly, as you can see on the far right of the table, the market capitalisations of these companies reflect high multiples of their Net Income as investors expect the companies to prosper in the future and generate larger profits. If you wished to explore these ideas further, I recommend also looking into the Return on Equity ratio which takes into account the amount of resources (i.e. Capital/Equity) put to work to generate the companies’ profits. It is also to be noted that the number of Company Shares outstanding may vary over time. Indeed, aside from Share repurchases that diminish the number of Shares available to the market, additional Shares may be issued to raise additional funds from the market hence diluting the ownership of existing Shareholders. Finally, (regular) Company Shares are structured in the same wayacross companies and industries, which brings a key benefit of having them easily comparable/benchmarkable against one another for investors. That is not the case for Utility Tokens, but they come with the benefit of having a lot more flexible use cases.
More considerations around the QNT token
As discussed, the Utility Token model is quite novel and each token has unique functions designed for the system it is associated with. That does not make value assessment easy, since all Utility Tokens are different, and this is a further reason to have a detailed look into the QNT case. https://preview.redd.it/b0xe0ogw74y31.png?width=1512&format=png&auto=webp&s=cece522cd7919125e199b012af41850df6d9e9fd As a start, all assets that are used in a speculative way embed two components into their price: A) one that represents what the asset is worth today, and B) one that represents what it may be worth in the future. Depending on whether the future looks bright or not, a price premium or a price discount may be attached to the asset price. This is similar to what we just saw with Company Shares valuation multiples, and it is valid across markets. For instance, Microsoft generates around USD 21bn in annual Net Income these days, but the cost of acquiring it entirely is USD 1,094bn (!). This speculative effect is particularly visible in the crypto sector since valuation levels are usually high whilst usage/adoption levels are usually low for now. So what about QNT? As mentioned, the QNT Utility model has novel, interesting facets. Since QNT is required to access and use the Overledger system, it is important to appreciate that Quant Network company has three means of action regarding the QNT token:
MANAGING their QNT reserves on an ongoing basis (i.e. buying or selling tokens is not always automatic, they can allocate tokens from their own reserves depending on their liquidity position at any given time),
BUYING/RECEIVING QNT from the market/clients on the back of business activity, and
SELLING QNT when they deem their reserves sufficient and/or wish to sell tokens to cover for operational costs.
Broadly speaking, the above actions will vary depending on business performance, the QNT token price and the Quant Network company’s liquidity position. We also have to appreciate how the QNT distribution will always look like, it can be broken down as follows: https://preview.redd.it/f20h7hvz74y31.png?width=1106&format=png&auto=webp&s=f2f5b63272f5ed6e3f977ce08d7bae043851edd1 A) QNT tokens held by the QNT Community B) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are locked (i.e. those related to Licences) C) QNT tokens held by Quant Network that are unlocked (i.e. those related to other usage, such as consumption fees and Gateways) D) the minimum QNT amount held by all users of the platform (more information on this front soon) So now that the situation is set, how would we assess Quant Network’s business activity effect on the QNT token? STEP 1: We would need to define the range of minimum/maximum amounts of QNT which Quant Network would want to keep as liquid reserves (i.e. unlocked) on an ongoing basis. This affects key variables such as the proportion of market purchases vs. the use of their own reserves, and the amount of QNT sold back to the market. Also, interestingly, if Quant Network never wanted to keep less than, for instance, 1 million QNT tokens as liquid reserves, these 1 million tokens would have a similar effect on the market as the locked tokens because they would never be sold. STEP 2: We would need to define the amount of revenues that are related to QNT. As we know, Overledger Licences, Usage and Gateways generate revenues converted into QNT (or in QNT directly). So the correlation is strong between revenues and QNT needs. Interestingly, the cost of a licence is probably relatively low today in order to facilitate adoption and testing, but it will surely increase over time. The same goes for usage fees, especially as we move from testing/pilot phases to mass implementation. The number of clients will also increase. The Community version of Overledger is also set to officially launch next year. More information on revenue potential can be found later in this article. STEP 3: We would need to define an evolution of the QNT token price over time and see how things develop with regards to Quant Network’s net purchase/sale of tokens every month (i.e. tokens required - tokens sold = net purchased/sold tokens). Once assumptions are made, what do we observe? In an undistorted environment, there is a positive correlation between Quant Network’s QNT-related revenues and the market capitalisation they occupy (i.e. the Quant Network share of the token distribution multiplied by the QNT price). However, this correlation can get heavily twisted as the speculative market prices a premium to the QNT price (i.e. anticipating higher revenues). As we will see, a persistent discount is not really possible as Quant Treasury would mechanically have to step in with large market purchases, which would provide strong support to the QNT price. In addition, volatility is to be added to the equation since QNT volatility is likely to be (much) higher than that of revenues which can create important year-on-year disparities. For instance, Quant Treasury may lock a lot of tokens at a low price one year, and be well in excess of required tokens the next year if the QNT token price has significantly increased (and vice versa). This is not an issue per se, but this would impact the amount of tokens bought/sold on an ongoing basis by Quant Treasury as reserves inflate/deflate. If we put aside the distortions created by speculation on the QNT price, and the subsequent impact on the excess/deficiency of Quant Network token reserves (whose level is also pro-actively managed by the company, as previously discussed), the economic system works as follows: High QNT price vs. Revenue levels: The value of reserves is inflated, fewer tokens need to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides low support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution diminishes. Low QNT price vs. Revenue levels: Reserves run out, a higher number of tokens needs to be bought for the level of revenues generated, Quant Treasury provides higher support to the QNT price, its share of the token distribution increases. Summary table: https://preview.redd.it/q7wgzpv384y31.png?width=2312&format=png&auto=webp&s=d8c0480cb34caf2e59615ec21ea220d81d79b153 The key here is that, whatever speculation on future revenue levels does to the token in the first place, if the QNT price was falling and reaching a level that does not reflect the prevailing revenue levels of Overledger at a given time, then Quant Treasury would require a larger amount of tokens to cover the business needs which would mean the depletion of their reserves, larger purchases from the market and strong support for the QNT price from here. This is the safety net we want to see, coming from usage! Indeed, in other words, if the QNT price went very high very quickly, Quant Treasury may not be seen buying much tokens since their reserves would be inflated BUT that fall back mechanics purely based on usage would be there to safeguard QNT holders from the QNT price falling below a certain level. I would assume this makes sense for most, and you might now wonder why have I highlighted the bottom part about the token distribution in red? That is because there is an ongoing battle between the QNT community and Quant Treasury — and this is very interesting. The ecosystem will show how big a share is the community willing to let Quant Network represent. The community actually sets the price for the purchases, and the token distribution fluctuates depending on the metrics we discussed. An equilibrium will be formed based on the confidence the market has in Quant Network’s future revenue generation. Moreover, the QNT community could perceive the token as a Store of Value and be happy to hold 80/90% of all tokens for instance, or it could perceive QNT as more dynamic or risky and be happy to only represent 60/70% of the distribution. Needless to say that, considering my previous articles on the potential of Overledger, I think we will tend more towards the former scenario. Indeed, if you wished to store wealth with a technology-agnostic, future proof, globally adopted, revenue-providing (through Gateways) Network of Networks on which most of the digitalised value is flowing through — wouldn’t you see QNT as an appealing value proposition? In a nutshell, it all comes down to the Overledger revenue levels and the QNT holders’ resistence to buy pressure from Quant Treasury. Therefore, if you are confident in the Overledger revenue generation and wish to see the QNT token price go up, more than ever, do not sell your tokens! What about the locked tokens? There will always be a certain amount of tokens that are entirely taken out of circulation, but Quant Network company will always keep additional unlocked tokens on top of that (those they receive and manage as buffer) and that means that locked tokens will always be a subset of what Quant Network possesses. I do not know whether fees will primarily be concentrated on the licencing side vs. the usage side, but if that were to be the case then it would be even better as a higher amount of tokens would be taken out of circulation for good. Finally, as long as the company operates, the revenues will always represent a certain amount of money whereas this is not the case for profits which may not appear before years (e.g. during the first years, during an economic/business downturn, etc.). As an illustration, a company like Uber has seen vast increases in revenues since it launched but never made any profit! Therefore, the demand for the QNT token benefits from good resilience from that perspective. Quant Network vs. QNT community — What proportion of the QNT distribution will each represent?
How much revenues can Overledger generate?
I suggest we start with the basis of what the Quant Network business is about: connecting networks together, building new-generation hyper-decentralised apps on top (called “mApps”), and creating network effects. Network effects are best defined by Metcalfe’s law which states: “the effect of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system” (Source: Wikipedia). This is illustrated by the picture below, which demonstrates the increasing number of possible connections for each new user added to the network. This was also recently discussed in a YouTube podcast by QNT community members “Luke” and “Ghost of St. Miklos” which you can watch here. Source: applicoinc.com This means that, as Overledger continues to connect more and more DLTs of all types between themselves and also with legacy systems, the number of users (humans or machines) connected to this Network of Networks will grow substantially — and the number of possible connections between participants will in turn grow exponentially. This will increase the value of the network, and hence the level of fees associated with getting access to it. This forms the basis of expected, future revenue generation and especially in a context where Overledger remains unique as of today and embraced by many of the largest institutions in the world (see the detailed summary on the matter from community member “Seq” here). On top of this network, multi-chain hyper-decentralised applications (‘mApps’) can be built — which are an upgrade to existing dApps that use only one chain at a time and hence only benefit from the user base and functionalities of the given chain. Overledger mApps can leverage on theusers and abilities of all connected chains at the same time, horizontal scaling, the ability to write/move code in any language across chains as required, write smart contracts on blockchains that do not support them (e.g. Bitcoin), and provide easier connection to other systems. dApps have barely had any success so far, as discussed in my first article, but mApps could provide the market with the necessary tools to build applications that can complement or rival what can be found on the Apple or Google Play store. Also, the flexibility of Overledger enables Quant Network to target a large number of industries and to connect them all together. A sample of use cases can be found in the following illustration: https://preview.redd.it/th8edz5b84y31.png?width=2664&format=png&auto=webp&s=105dd4546f8f9ab2c66d1a5a8e9f669cef0e0614 It is to be noted that one of the use cases, namely the tokenisation of the entire world’s assets, represents a market worth hundreds of trillions of USD and that is not even including the huge amount of illiquid assets not currently traded on traditional Capital Markets which could benefit from the tokenisation process. More information on the topic can be found in my previous article fully focused on the potential of Overledger to capture value from the structural shift in the world’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers. Finally, we can look at what well established companies with a similar technology profile have been able to achieve. Overledger is an Operating System for DLTs and legacy systems on top of which applications can be built. The comparison to Microsoft Windows and the suite of Microsoft Software running on top (e.g. Microsoft Office) is an obvious one from that perspective to gauge the longer term potential. As you can see below, Microsoft’s flagship softwares such as Windows and Office each generate tens of billions of USD of revenues every year: Source: Geekwire We can also look at Oracle, the second largest Enterprise software company in the world: Source: Statista We can finally look at what the Apple store and the Google Play store generate, since the Quant Network “mApp store” for the community side of Overledger will look to replicate a similar business model with hyper-decentralised applications: Source: Worldwide total revenue by app store, 2018 ($bn) The above means total revenues of around USD 70bn in 2018 for the Apple store and Google Play store combined, and the market is getting bigger year-on-year! Also, again, these (indicative!) reference points for Overledger come in the context of the Community version of the system only, since the Enterprise version represents a separate set of verticals more comparable to the likes of Microsoft and Oracle which we just looked at.
I hope this article helped shed further light on the QNT token and how the various market and business parameters will influence its behavior over time, as the Quant Network business is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. In the recent Forbes interview, Quant Network’s CEO (Gilbert Verdian) stated : “Our potential to grow is uncapped as we change and transform industries by creating a secure layer between them at speed. Our vision is to build a mass version of what I call an internet of trust, where value can be securely transferred between global partners not relying on defunct internet security but rather that of blockchain.”. This is highly encouraging with regards to business prospects and also in comparison to what other companies have been able to achieve since the Web as we know it today emerged (e.g. Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc.). The Internet is now entering a new phase, with DLT technology at its core, and Overledger is set to be at the forefront of this new paradigm which will surely offer a vast array of new opportunities across sectors. I believe it is an exciting time for all of us to be part of the journey, as long as any financial commitment is made with a good sense of responsibility and understanding of what success comes down to. “Crypto” is still immature in many respects, and the emergence of a dedicated regulatory framework combined with the expected gradual, selective entrance of institutional money managers will hopefully help shed further light and protect retail token holders from the misunderstandings, misinformation and misconduct which too many have suffered from in the last years. Thanks for your time and interest. Appendix: First article:“The reasons why Quant Network (QNT) will rise to the Top of the crypto sphere in the coming months” Second article:“The potential of Quant Network’s technology to capture value from the structural shift in the World’s assets and machine-related data/value transfers” October 2019 City AM interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO):Click here October 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO):Click here July 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO):Click here February 2019 Blockchain Brad interview of Gilbert Verdian (CEO):Click here ---- About theoriginal authorof the article: My name is David and I spent years in the Investment Banking industry in London. I hold QNT tokens and the above views are based on my own thoughts and research only. I am not affiliated with the Quant Network team in any way. This is not investment advice, please do your own research andunderstandwhat you are buying before doing so. It is also my belief that more than 90% of all other crypto projects will fail because what matters is what is gettingadopted; please do not put more money at risk than you can afford to lose.
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